94.8% of drilling finished, new Suez Canal to open after 134 days: Army
Widening of the southern entrance to the New Suez Canal - YOUM7/Ahmed Awad

CAIRO: Some 94.8 percent of the dry excavation works in the New Suez Canal Project have been completed, and 134 days remain until its inauguration, the armed forces announced Thursday.

“Egyptians are racing against time for the sake of a better future for coming generations through a new Suez Canal,” a military statement read.

The “New Suez Canal” is a multi-billion dollar project aiming to establish a new 72-kilometer canal parallel to the current one to speed up transit time and allow ships to sail into both directions at the same time. The project was launched by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in August 2014 with a timeline of only one year.

The short period given for the project was deemed by the government as an important “challenge” meant to revive the Egyptian economy.

So far, 218 million cubic meters of total 258 million cubic meters of dry excavation have been completed, and 110 million cubic meters of total 250 million cubic meters have been dredged.

The Suez Canal expansion is expected to boost annual revenue up to $13.5 billion by 2023.

The Suez Canal Axis Development Project is a separate long-term project which aims to develop the area surrounding the Suez Canal through establishing economic and logistic hubs.

On March 4, Suez Canal revenues recorded $3.267 billion during first seven months of FY 2014/2015 (to end June 30.)

The U.S.-based General Electric (GE) Company announced it is investing $200 million in a manufacturing and training facility near the Suez Canal mega project, during the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC,) which was held in Sharm al-Sheikh March 13-15.

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