Sunday, June 14, 2015

Egypt's new Suez Canal to officially open on August 6. Nearly 85 percent of the dredging work has been achieved

Egypt's new Suez Canal maritime route will officially open on August 6, a senior official said on Saturday.

Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Mohab Mamish told reporters that all dredging works at the new Suez Canal project will be completed in mid-July.

"Only 54 days are left for the opening ceremony of this mega economic project," Mamish said during a press briefing at the SCA headquarter in Egypt's Ismailia city.

Mamish added that some 4,800 pieces of equipment were used and over 250 million cubic meters of dry sand were lifted since the project kicked off last August.

"Nearly 85 percent of the dredging work has been achieved," he added.

In August last year, Egypt launched a project to dig a new 72-km canal alongside the original 163 km-long canal, which is one of the most important waterways in the world since it allows ships to travel between Europe and South Asia without navigating around Africa.

The cost of the new canal is estimated at four billion US dollars.

The Suez Canal has been an essential source for hard currency along with tourism that has been withering since the 2011 uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

The canal revenues hit 5.455 billion US dollars in 2014, compared to 5.105 billion dollars in 2013. These were the highest records ever.

The new canal project is supposed to provide more than one million job opportunities.

The new artificial waterway, which is part of a larger project to expand Suez port and shipping facilities and build large industrial zones, is designed to raise Egypt's international profile and build the nation as a major trade hub.

Mamish expected that once the mega development project is achieved, it will generate up to 100 billion US dollars of net income annually.

The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. It was opened for navigation in November 1869 after 10 years of construction.

  Source:Xinhua -

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