Suez Canal, the artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt

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The project to expand the Suez Canal in Egypt is reportedly 88% complete. This was revealed by the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), Osama Rabie.

The project includes the deepening of the 30-kilometer southern sector of the canal. This section begins at the 32-kilometer mark south of the Bitter Lakes and ends at the 162-kilometer mark at the southern mouth of the canal.

The project also includes the expansion of the canal between the 122-kilometer and 132-kilometer marks into two-way traffic. This will increase the length of the New Suez Canal to 82 kilometers.

According to Rabie, approximately 16 million cubic meters of sand have been removed as part of the project to expand the southern sector of the Suez Canal in Egypt.

In addition, 27 million cubic meters have been dredged at the site of the twin channel in the small bitter lakes. This will reportedly allow ships to travel in both directions in this section.

The project to expand the southern sector of the Suez Canal in Egypt was launched in May 2021. This was shortly after the grounding of Ever Given, a giant container ship nearly 400 meters long.

The project will ultimately strengthen capacity and safety in terms of navigation in the canal basins.

Reported earlier

May 2014

Egypt’s Suez Canal expansion set for 2015

According to Mahmoud Rizq director of the Department of Planning at the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), Egypt’s government will be presenting its ambitious plans for the development of the Suez Canal in January 2015 to both local and international financial institutions and several companies.

The project comprises developing ports of Port Said, Al-Arish, and Ain Sokhna. EGP 2bn ($US 281m) has been allocated to finance studies and the infrastructure of the project.

The government is preparing to present the project’s plans at the international conference arranged to attract funding for the project and will be receiving screening offers beginning as early as February 2015.

Rizq said fourteen consortia had competed for the deal of preparing the plans for developing the Suez Canal and a committee consisting of international expertise was formed to appraise bids and choose the winning consortia.

At a conference at Suez Canal’s simulation center, the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Memish revealed that the canal is gaining growth rates with foreign currency increasing by 4.9% and 14.6% increases in revenue locally.

Aug 2014

New Suez Canal upcoming in Egypt at $4b

Construction of an extra 45-mile lane to be added to the existing Suez Canal has begun, to allow more ships to be using the canal each day.

The announcement was made on Tuesday this week by the President of Egypt Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. This is expected to boost trade in one of the most important canals for global trade. Through the canal, ships from Europe to Asia and vice versa do not have to pass through Southern Africa.

However, the current state of the canal is that ships have occasional room to pass each other since it is a one-way traffic canal. The addition of the lane will see ships travel in both directions for less than the 101 miles long canal. The current canal is an artificial sea-level waterway creation.

The addition of 6 tunnels will cut down hours spent traveling along the canal from 11 to about 3 hours.

The Suez Canal Authority chairman Mr. Mohab Mamish said, “This giant project will be the creation of a new Suez Canal parallel to the current channel.” He hoped that the new lane would come online within one year.

This is a very large project. An analyst Mr. Angus Blair said that it was unclear to what extent the planned expansion would quicken current operations at the existing canal. Al-Sisi said that despite what, “this project must be finished in a year” although it was expected to take three years.

The construction expansion of the Suez Canal will involve 37km of dry digging and expansion. The construction will also include the deepening of the existing canal by 35km. This is crucial to helping the vessels increase their speed while moving along the canal.

Sisi said that the project would not be funded externally but individual Egyptians would make contributions to the project. He added, “We want all Egyptians to hold shares in this project.” He added that the project would help the country’s economy.

The current operations at the canal source a total of $5bn (£3bn) every year in foreign currency and in 2013, the canal attracted a total of nearly 6,600 ships.

6 tunnels in the new Suez Canal project to be built by Arab Contractors

Arab Contractors Company (AC), Egypt’s largest and leading construction firm will commence digging to expand the Suez Canal.

This is according to Chairman Arab Contractors Mohsen Salah, who revealed that his company had begun conducting studies of executing six new tunnels in the Suez Canal. He said three are in Port Said and three others in Ismailia.

Mohsen Salah said that the state-run company will take the main role in the digging process, in cooperation with Orascom. He added that the digging would help develop and operate Suez Canal.

However, the Egypt government is also considering sending its dredgers to the Suez Canal project, which the Arab Contractors Company (AC) considers digging one tunnel as a separate project for the company. The company says that its role is a major one and therefore, it means the company will contribute to the construction of 6 projects in parallel.

The Arab Contractors (AC) has construction undertakings in the Middle East and Africa. The company is very active and has, of late, been awarded contracts to implement various projects in the north. Other African countries where it has operations include Algeria. The US$4bn formerly announced by President of Egypt Abdel Fatah al-Sisi was slated for 2015.

Nov 2014

Egypt Hires German Firm for Suez Canal construction work

The engineering division of the Egyptian armed forces has announced that Egypt will use machines made by a German firm to bore at least four tunnels under the Suez Canal project, in a US$8 billion project of expanding the waterway through which the government seeks to raise more revenues and foreign currency reserves.

Kamal al-Waziri said on Thursday that the Egyptian army had contracted a German company to provide machines for three cars and train tunnels in Port Said, the northern outlet of the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea.

The expansion of the Suez Canal waterway is expected to triple revenues by 2023 to US$13.5 billion from US$5 billion, a project through which the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hopes to revive the economy battered by political turmoil.

Al-Sisi has put infrastructure mega projects at the top of his economic agenda and has called for a speedy completion of the new canal within one year instead of the five years recommended by experts.

Half of the budget for expanding the canal was allocated for building six tunnels which are being built by Oracsom Construction and other Arab contractors. The development will run alongside the existing 145-year-old waterway, which is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

The Suez Canal project was started earlier this year, with reports indicating it would cost US$4bn.

Feb 2015

Suez Canal records increased revenue

Suez Canal has reported an increase in its revenues to US$ 434.8 million in January this year compared to US$433.4 million in the same month in 2014.

The change has been attributed to the canal linking Asia, and Europe and being the world’s most heavily used shipping lane. The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt that connects the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. It started operating in 1869 after ten years of construction.

The canal is widely used by modern ships because it is the fastest crossing from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean.

Suez Canal Authority’s official statistics showed that there was an increase in revenues, even with the Panamian ships – whose number was the highest in using the route in 2014 – decreasing in 2015. The number of ships has been declining every year by 3.3%.

Also, the number of Liberian ships – which is the second biggest client of the authority – declined in 2014 compared to 2013. The ongoing construction of a new Suez Canal will minimize the waiting time for transiting ships and help Egypt in economic growth.

The construction project will be developed together with the Suez Canal Area Development Project, which will help the canal to remain the number one choice for ship owners.

Other benefits include increased income earnings, employment opportunities, and the creation of new urban communities. The new construction project will be delivered in August and is set to increase the daily average transiting vessels from the present 49 to 97 in 2023. Construction will involve adding a new lane to the existing lane.

Jun 2015

US$ 8 Billion New Suez Canal project to open in August

Egypt is set to open its US$4 Billion New Suez Canal project by August a move that will see a great increase capacity of the existing canal and also boost the country’s economy.

The 72 Kilometer project also well known as Suez Canal Axis includes a 37-kilometer new waterway and also the deepening and expansion of the currently existing 140-year-old canal which is a 35 kilometers stretch.

The head of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Mameesh says the project will be officially inaugurated on August 6th after its completion on time. He added that the project has been constructed by the Egyptian Army for the last ten months at a cost of US$ 8 billion and the route is set to reduce the current navigation time from approximately 22 to 10 hours.

Mohab said the canals will be also connected to four of its smaller waterways and they will see the route being the fastest in the area and shipping between Europe and Asia will be affordable and reliable.

The New Suez Canal is considered a priority project since it has been ongoing even during the period of political turmoil that led to ousting of President Hosni Mubarak. The New Suez Canal project officials said the construction is now 85% complete and is expected to be completed by July and inaugurated by August.

Mohad added that the government is expected to open up its International logistics and industrial hub a place near the Canal that will improve the growth of the country’s economy.

Jul 2015

U.S.$8 Bn Suez Canal Project Nears completion

The construction of the Suez Canal project at a cost of US$8 Billion is set to improve the country’s economic status once commissioned. The country’s biggest ongoing project is set to be commissioned in August as the project construction is in its final stages. This comes barely after Egypt was named one of Africa’s biggest economies and tourist destinations and this has been influenced by its rate of recovery from the 2011 crisis.

According to Egypt Press and Information Officer at the Egyptian embassy in Nigeria, Ahmed Maher the mega project which once completed will have cost the country US$8.4 billion will reduce the jam caused and double up the traffic of cargo across Africa to Europe with the prospect of helping the country in taking a huge come back economically.
The canal construction created over 41000 jobs and they were all engaged since the project began 10 months ago.

Maher added that the canal is expected to double up its economic contribution so that the old canal can bring an additional six tunnels for cars and rails. The project which was started ten months ago was aimed at extending the existing Suez Canal which is located between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea upon the end of the project there will be six new tunnels that will transform a 76,000 Km area on both banks of the canal.

The Suez Canal area development and the Second Suez Canal project are seen as the most important drivers of economic recovery for Egypt, with the hope that it will be an economic turning point away from the instability that has affected it in recent years. “The Suez Canal area development project aims to attract private investment to the area surrounding the canal, transforming several cities into a regional and hopefully, global logistics hub”.

Egypt’s construction of the New Suez Canal completed

Egypt’s construction of the New Suez Canal project involving expanding the waterway commonly known as the Suez Canal has been completed and will be inaugurated on 1st August.

According to the contractors who won the contract for Egypt’s construction of the New Suez Canal, the UAE-based National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) the construction of the $1.5 billion New Suez Canal project has been ongoing smoothly and the first operation is expected to be kick off once the inauguration is done.

Engineer Yasser Zaghloul, CEO of NMDC said that they have realized they can make it by completing the project within the required timeline. The company said they have already carried out successful navigation by ships in the new waterway and they have proved that both directions are workable the waterway will start its operation in August.

Yasser Zaghloul also said that Egypt’s construction of the New Suez Canal project has already proved to work as they have already used six ships container ships from around the world that successfully sailed to ensure that the canal is ready for use.

This comes barely months after the NMDC won the contract to build the waterway project commonly known as the Suez Canal after a stiff completion from the world’s largest marine dredging companies such as Netherlands’s Boskalis and Van Oord and Beligum-based one Jan De Nul NMDC was tasked to undertaken Egypt’s construction of the New Suez Canal which was thirty-five kilometers long with a depth of twenty-four meters and three hundred and seventeen meters width.

The contractor faced pressure when the Egyptian President reduced the construction time for the project from three years to one Year.

Aug 2015

Egypt’s Suez Canal construction to be extended

The Suez Canal construction in Egypt is set to be extended barely weeks after its completion after the country unveiled the $8.5b for its extension.

According to the projects’ patron President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the construction to extend the canal involved the digging and dredging along extra 45 miles of the 120-mile canal and making a world-class waterway that can handle double-way traffic.

The president said the construction of the project ended on time and has proved that it can improve the country’s ailing economy after years of unrest and he expressed confidence the extension will be completed on time.

He said the project was carried out by the Military and they completed the project perfectly on time and the operation has already kicked off as they expected.

President Abdel added that the government of Egypt had put more effort to see the project end on time and they are looking forward to launching more projects that will boost the country’s economy.

The unveiling of the $8.5 billion extension has been trumpeted as a historic achievement by pro-government media.

Products passing through the Suez Canal construction include petroleum and related products such as crude oil, gasoline, gas oil and diesel oil, fuel oils, and liquefied petroleum gas.

“With the expansion of the canal we expect to see the development of more transshipment ports,” Peter Kiguta, EAC Director General in charge of Trade and Customs told The EastAfrican.

April 2017

Egyptian President El-Sisi hails the Suez Canal construction project

President  Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has on Wednesday toured the ongoing construction of the Suez Canal tunnels during his three-day stay in Ismailia governorate while attending a semi-regular youth conference.

The project whose expansion began in 2014 aims to increase the traffic handled by the canal. It deepens the main waterway and provides ships with a 35km (22 mile) channel parallel to it.

Egypt’s government hopes the revenues will revive the economy – but analysts have questioned the projections. They point out that the volume of world trade has not been growing at the pace needed to deliver the sums Egypt hopes to collect.

Mr. El-Sisi said that the project was carried out by Egyptian firms and that no foreign companies had been sought to complete its construction. The Suez Canal tunnels project aims to connect the Sinai Peninsula with the Nile Delta. He added that construction on the project’s four tunnels would be completed by 30 June.

El-Sisi thanked the workers for their efforts, saying the project proves that Egyptians can complete big projects. The president was accompanied by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi as well as a number of youth participating in the three-day conference, which began on Tuesday.

The youth conference sessions and workshops are planned to address issues including a recent surge in the price of foodstuffs, the government’s efforts to improve the healthcare system, and sustainable development in the fields of gas and power.

This month’s event is the third in a series of such gatherings.

The first regular conference was held in December in Cairo. El-Sisi announced the decision to hold regular youth conferences in October, as one of the takeaways of the first annual National Youth Conference held that month.

Sep 2020

Suez Canal in Egypt planned for modernization and expansion

Suez Canal in Egypt is planned for modernization and expansion by the government of the North African country during the 2020-21 financial year at a cost of US$ 1b or its whereabouts, according to the Planning and Economic Development Minister Hala El-Said.

The scope of the future project includes the completion of the construction of four tunnels under the canal- two in the governorate of Port Said located at the northern end of the Suez Canal, on the Mediterranean Sea, and two in the governorate of Ismailia, situated on the west bank of the Suez Canal in the northeastern part of the North African country.

A part of the earmarked money will also be used to improve the equipment of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), which is a state-owned authority that owns, operates, and maintains the Suez Canal.

Hopes for the future project

With the new plan, the Egyptian authorities hope to increase the capacity of the Suez Canal, which is one of the country’s major sources of income built by the Suez Canal Company between 1859 and 1869 and officially opened on 17 November 1869 but owned by the United Kingdom and France until July 1956, when the then President of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, nationalized it.

This facility is considered one of the most important links in global supply chains, thanks to its important geographical location as a shipping route. It offers watercraft a more direct route between the North Atlantic and Northern Indian Oceans via the Mediterranean and Red Seas, thus avoiding the South Atlantic and Southern Indian Oceans and reducing the journey distance from the Arabian Sea to London, for example, by approximately 8,900 kilometers.

According to Minister El-Said, the canal’s revenues reached about US$5.73bn for FY2018-19, making the area one of Egypt’s main sources of foreign exchange.

1 thought on “Suez Canal, the artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt”

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