Egypt will today officially open a 35km extension to the Suez Canal, allowing ships to simultaneously travel in different directions along the route for the first time.
A new canal has been constructed, taking the length of the Suez from 60km to 95km. In addition the Great Bitter Lakes by-passes and Ballah by-pass have been deepened and widened.
A consortium consisting of Boskalis, Van Oord, NMDC – based in Abu Dhabi – and Belgium firm Jan de Nul carried out the expansion. The work took just one year.
Not only can two ships now pass through the canal at the same time, but the waiting time for transiting ships will be dramatically cut – from 18 hours to a maximum of 11 hours for the southbound convoy. The aim is to increase the average number of ships using the canal each day from 49 at present to 97 by 2023.
The New Suez Canal in numbers
- Actual dredged quantities according to progress of works: 258.8 million cubic meters
- Consortium’s first dredger to be employed in the project: dredger Al-Marifaa on Novenber 5,2014
- Quantities of Dry excavation works: 250 million cubic meters
- Number of dredgers employed in the project: 45 dredgers
- Number of sedimentation basins: 20 basins
Source: Suez Canal Authority