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 in 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 as 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.