New Suez Canal is completed and ready to officially receive its first ships, according to Suez Canal Authority chairman Mohab Mameesh.
Mameesh said that the USD 8 billion project which took 11 months to complete was finished ahead of time, and the Canal is ready for the official inauguration set for August 6.
The new 72-km section of the Canal is expected to bring three times more revenue to Egypt by 2023. The existing Canal currently brings USD 5 billion in revenue annually.
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 paves the way for a transit of ships of up to 20 meters in draft. The new stretch of the Canal is also projected to cut transit times from 20 to about 11 hours.
The first ships already tested the New Canal earlier this week.
Suez Canal Container Terminal also announced the construction of a new side channel near the Suez Canal to allow smaller vessels in the Mediterranean a twenty-four hour access to East Port Said instead of current eight-hour access.
World Maritime News Staff