Egypt is looking to build a new Suez Canal parallel to the existing one in a USD 4 billion project aimed at boosting the trade along the Canal, which offers the fastest shipping link connecting Europe and Asia, according to Reuters.
“This giant project will be the creation of a new Suez Canal parallel to the current channel of a total length of 72 kilometres (44.74 miles),” Mohab Mamish, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, told a conference in Ismailia, a port town on the Canal, in a televised broadcast.
He said the total estimated time for finishing the new channel would be five years, although Egypt will try to complete it in three years.
Close to 20 Egyptian companies could be involved in this ambitious project, all under the watchful eye of the Egyptian army.
Egyptian President Adel Fattah al-Sisi, a former army chief, explained that the involvement of the army in this project is for the reasons of security, seeing that the region is in turmoil over Egypt’s internal political issues, as well as the Israel-Gaza dispute.
The 145-year old existing Suez Canal is generating more than USD 5 billion income to Egypt on a yearly basis.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attended the ceremony of launching the Suez Canal Axis Development Project at the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) club, Ismailia governorate.
SCA Chairman Lt. General Mohab Mamesh delivered a speech, recalling that Egyptians have scarified their lives to dig the Suez Canal, which changed the history and became the life line of not only Egypt, but the whole world.
“More than 100,000 Egyptians were martyred during the ten years of digging the Canal, sending a message to the whole world that the Egyptians make glory and history and will make the same in the coming period”, Mamesh added.
World Maritime News Staff; August 5, 2014