Suez Canal Expansion Contracts Awarded

Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and the Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, Mohab Mohamed Hussein Mameesh, signed a contract with six companies in Cairo on October 18th for the deepening and widening of the Suez Canal, a vital shipping link between Europe and Asia.


A consortium consisting of Van Oord, Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V., NMDC (Abu Dhabi) and Jan de Nul (Belgium) has secured a contract worth a total of USD 1.5 billion, with each partner entitled to an equal share of USD 375 million.

A contract was signed also with the Consortium Dredging International – Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company for lot number 6 of the deepening and widening of the Suez Canal.

The contract awarded to NMDC-lead consortium includes the construction of the parallel section of the canal with a length of approximately 50 kilometers to allow ships to simultaneously transit in two directions as well as the widening and deepening of a number of existing sections to a depth of 24 meters.

The majority of the dredging activities for the canal expansion will be executed with 17 cutter suction dredgers. The project will commence in 2014 and is expected to be completed in 2015.

“We are awarded the 35km new parallel channel with a dredge volume of approximately 180 million m3 which will require up to 20 Cutter Suction Dredgers to be mobilised, the first of which is already on the way – the Al Mirfa is currently being mobilised by a heavy lift vessel and should arrive to Suez before the end of the month,” NMDC said in a release.

The consortium Dredging International NV (75%) – Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC (25%) has been awarded the assignment to deepen and widen the western branch of the Suez Canal at Great Bitter Lake, Deversoir Reach and Kabreet Reach (lot number 6).

The scope of works, awarded to the joint venture, include the widening and deepening of the Suez Canal over a length of 25 km and up to a depth of -24m.

The contract amounts to 540 million US Dollar (421.3 million EUR).

The consortium has committed to execute the works within a very short time frame in accordance with the requirements of president al-Sisi.

Six cutter suction dredgers (4 DI CSD’s and 2 GLDDC CSD’s) and two hopper dredgers (DI) including some auxiliary equipment will be mobilized to perform the job. Works will start immediately.

The ‘new’ Suez Canal will partially run in parallel to the current waterway and entail widening and deepening of existing parts thereof.

In early August 2014, Egypt’s president, Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, announced  plans for the New Suez Canal.

It is expected that the expanded canal will result in doubling of revenues for Egypt by 2023.

World Maritime News Staff

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