Dredging work to expand, deepen Suez Canal's southern sector nearly done: Chairman

Ahram Online , Thursday 13 Apr 2023

Up to 88 percent of the planned dredging works to expand and deepen the Suez Canal as part of Egypt’s plan to develop the canal's southern sector has been completed, Osama Rabie, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority said on Thursday.

Egypt s Suez Canal

 

The dredging is being carried out from the canal’s 132-kilometre mark south of the Bitter Lakes to the canal’s 162-kilometre mark at the southern mouth of the waterway, Rabie said during an inspection tour.

The project is also expanding the canal to two-way traffic between the 122-kilometre and 132-kilometre marks, increasing the length of the New Suez Canal to 82 kilometres.

Rabie said 16 million cubic metres of sand were removed as part of the expansion project, while 27 million cubic metres of sand were dredged at the site of the double channel project in the Lesser Bitter Lakes region (from km 122 to km 132).

The southern sector development project holds "promising" opportunities to enhance the canal's role, the SCA chairman said.

The project will provide navigational advantages, enhance safety and increase the capacity of the canal in this region by an additional six ships, he explained.

The project is moving forward at an accelerated pace and is on track to be completed in record time, he stressed.

The project was previously spurred forward when the 400-metre-long Ever Given container ship ran aground in the same segment in March 2021, disrupting global shipping traffic for days until it was refloated

The disruption pushed forward the expansion process from January 2022 to June 2021, Rabie said in previous remarks, adding that the whole project would take 24-30 months to implement.

The crucial conduit connecting the Red Sea and the Mediterranean carries 10 percent of all international trade, and is also a major source of hard currency for Egypt.

The canal's revenues hit a record of $8 billion in 2022, up from $6.3 billion in 2021.

On 13 March, traffic in the canal hit a record one-day transit rate, with 107 ships carrying 6.3 million tons crossing its course.

In January 2023, canal revenues hit a record one-month revenues, bringing in $802 million.

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