CAIRO: The first trial operation of the new Suez Canal started Saturday morning, with six large ships crossing in both directions, Youm7 reported.
The trial operation aims to assure that the canal allows ships with different sizes and drafts to sail.
The first three ships, part of the south-north fleet, crossed the canal coming from Suez Port heading to Port Said. The Head of the Suez Canal Authority, Mohab Mamish led the first ship in the fleet, according to Youm7.
The first container ship in the south fleet, called APL SOUTHAMPTON, was raising Singaporean flag, weighed 13,000 tons with a draft of 41.8 feet, while MAERSK SHEERNESS ship, raising Luxembourg flag, also crossed the canal. The ship weighs 77, 000 tons with a 42.7 feet draft, Youm7 reported.
The third container ship; “MAYSSAN” was from Bahrain, and weighed 77, 000 tons with a of 42.9 feet draft.
Other three ships, part of the north fleet, have crossed the canal coming from the Mediterranean Sea and heading to Suez Port and then to the Red Sea.
Liberian Northern Jamboree was the first ship to cross among the north-south fleet. It weighted 99, 000 tons with of 34, 8 feet draft, according to Youm7.
Weighting 158, 000 tons with a 45, 9 feet draft, Singapore’s APL SENTONSA was the second container ship to cross the Canal while Hong Kong’s OOCL UTUH, with 94,000 tons weight and 41.3 feet draft was the last to cross among the north-south fleet, Youm7 reported.
The executive agency that manages the new Suez Canal project announced that dredgers have lifted more than 259 million cubic meters of water-saturated sand.
The project was launched in August 2014 and is scheduled to be inaugurated in August 6, 2015.
All countries have been invited to attend the inauguration ceremony of the new 72-kilometer long canal, which aims to speed up transit time and allow ships to sail into both directions at the same time.
In an unprecedented tradition, ships at ports across the world will blow their horns at the same time on August 6 greeting the New Suez Canal achievement, Suez Canal Authority announced.