Inauguration Date Set for New Suez Canal

The New Suez Canal is to be inaugurated on August 6th, according to Suez Canal Authority (SCA).

SCA requested all shipping agencies to notify it about their vessels’ manes and tonnages by 10 July at the latest, if they are arriving at Port Said and Suez outer anchorage on August 5 in order to prepare for the inauguration event.

Details regarding the event itself have not been revealed except for the information that it will be attended by high-ranking officials including President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

The expansion work has reached 85 percent completion, with 43 dredging machines working round the clock to meet the deadline for excavation completion set for July 15, canal authority chief Mohab Mameesh is quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

Once the two-way highway is completed, Egypt expects that up to 20,000 ships will transit the route on a yearly basis.  It is estimated that around 10% of all global maritime trade passes through the Suez Canal, equaling to 18,000 ships per year.

The expansion project will pave the way for a transit of ships of up to 20 meters in draft, thus increasing the revenue of the canal to up to USD 17 billion a year.

In addition, over the next five years Egypt plans to invest into construction of an industrial and logistical zone along the canal in order to attract further investment into the area.

World Maritime News Staff

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