A trial run of Egypt’s new Suez Canal channel was successful and "proves to the world that Egyptians are capable of achieving major projects,” a canal official was quoted as saying on Saturday.
The head of the Suez Canal Authority, Mohab Mamish, said that Saturday’s trial aimed at testing the depth of the canal and the guidance of ships using the waterway, according to MENA agency.
The official opening of the new 72-kilometre shipping lane is schedule for 6 August, in the presence of an invited audience of world leaders.
Saturday's trial was attended by Mamish and a team of senior officials.
The trial was heavily secured by military helicopters and ships.
The new shipping lane will supplement the existing canal which links the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, and to develop the zone around it into an industrial and commercial hub.
The upgraded canal is expected to speed up traffic along the waterway and to boost its revenues, projected to more than double from $5.3 billion at the end of 2015 to $13.2 billion in 2023, according to official estimates.
Built 146 years ago, the Suez Canal is one of the world's most heavily used shipping lanes, earning Egypt billions of dollars in annual revenues.
Excavation of the new channel started in August 2014.