CAIRO: Egypt intends to dig a 9.5-kilometer-long canal to allow a two-way traffic of vessels entering the Suez Canal through the northern terminus of Port Said, Suez Canal Authority (SCA) chairperson Mohab Mamish said Sunday.
The SCA has agreed to contract the ‘Alliance of Challenge;’ a combination of more than six companies that have already completed the dredging of the new Suez Canal, to dig a new 9.5 kilometer-long-canal east of the Suez Canal’s entrance from Port Said, Mamish said. The new canal will be a waterway for ships heading to the port’s container terminal, he added.
Vessels entering the canal from the northern terminus have to wait for a few hours before passing through the canal; by diverting the course of the water way, vessels will no longer need to wait, SCA economic advisor Abdel Tawab Hajaj told The Cairo Post Sunday.
The Alliance of Challenge tasked with digging the new canal includes the SCA’s dredge fleet, the Emirati National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC), Dutch Boskalis for Dredging, Dutch Van Oord, Belgian Jan De Nul group, Belgian Dredging International (DEME Group), and the U.S. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company (GLDD.)
Digging the new canal has been previously planned as the SCA had contracted a number of companies to develop the navigation in the whole area o f Suez Canal, but the project has been suspended, Mamish added, noting that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ordered to revive the project.
“So we have decided to resume the project with the Alliance of Challenge…the new canal will increase the economic value of the area” he said.
In 2007, The Suez Canal Container Terminal has contracted with the Ministry of Transportation to establish the new canal. Per the old contract, the project of the new canal was scheduled to end by 2011; al-Maal newspaper reported in January, noting that the reason behind stymieing the project boils down to financial disagreement.