Explainer: Turning Egypt's Suez Canal into world's longest green canal

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 Apr 2022

Egypt is working on turning its 72-kilometre-long Suez Canal — the world’s longest man-made canal without locks — into a “green route,” a step that aligns with the country’s ambitious plans to become a transit route for clean energy.

 Suez Canal
File photo: Egypt's Suez Canal


The sea-level canal, through which around 12 percent of the world’s trade passes, connects the Mediterranean and the Red seas, and is the shortest maritime route between Asia and Europe and the fastest crossing from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean.

Here is a look at the main pillars of the country's plan for the Suez Canal, where work is currently underway to extend its length to 82 kilometres:

  • The move means establishing environmental sustainability standards at the canal and contributing to putting the brakes on climate pollution by reducing reliance on traditional energy sources.
  • Several steps have been taken by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) to implement the plan, including operating 16 extension stations along the canal with renewable energy, according to an info-graph released by the Egyptian cabinet's Information and Decision Support Centre.
  • Some of the SCA's facilities and lighting poles also run on solar energy.
  • Work is underway to convert the SCA's navy to operate on natural gas.
  • The SCA encourages its customers to use environmentally friendly fuels.
  • A package of incentives is provided for ships that use Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) and apply environmental safety standards.
  • The Egyptian cabinet has agreed to allocate areas along the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) for producing green hydrogen.
  • The Egyptian authorities have been reviewing various offers submitted by international companies to establish green hydrogen projects in the SCZone, as the country seeks to localise the production of the clean-burning fuel.
  • As per presidential directives, the authorities are working on activating a host of recently signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with foreign partners to produce and export green hydrogen in the SCZone.
  • Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has assured that the country aims to become a transit route for clean energy to Europe and the whole world.
  • These efforts are in line with the country's role as host of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in November in the coastal city of Sharm El-Sheikh, with a special focus on promoting green energy projects, including green hydrogen projects.
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