CAIRO: The New Suez Canal may open on an experimental basis in May after 98% of the dry excavation has been completed, Suez Canal Authority Chairman Mohab Mamish announced he had proposed to Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab in a Monday press statement.
A total of 143,400 million cubic meters of soil have been dredged so far, which is 60% of the targeted accomplishment, stated Mamish, adding that the official opening, which will be in August 2015, will be attended by the presidents and leaders of the Arab and foreign countries, sponsored by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
The Suez Canal is one of the world’s most strategic waterways, facilitating much of the maritime trade between Europe and Asia.
The Suez Canal Authority controls the waterway; In December, Mamish has assured the canal is tightly secured and announced that the Suez Canal Authority had made its highest revenues in six months.
The project of the new 72-kilometer long canal was launched in August 2014 by President Sisi, who assigned the project a one-year deadline.
Egypt hopes the expanded canal will increase shipping traffic to 97 ships per day by the year 2023, up from 49 ships at present, and also to increase canal revenues from $ 5.3 billion at present to $ 13.226 billion in 2023, according to Suez Canal Authority.