Turkey is stepping up its activities aimed at creating a new shipping canal that would provide some breathing space for the busy Bosphorus Strait.
On Monday, Turkish Minister of Transport Ahmet Arslan said that the country plans to finalize the tender process and start the dredging works for the Kanal Istanbul project this year.
The 45-km canal would link the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara west of the Bosphorus Strait, encompassing the area from the Kucukcekmece Lake to the Durusu region.
Based on initial specifications, the canal will be 25 meters deep and 250-1,000 meters wide.
The plan is to convert the canal’s banks into a major logistics hub serving the Black Sea.
Arslan pointed out that studies were carried out to assess potential earthquake risks on the waterway along with the impact of the wind and deep sea waves of the Black Sea and Marmara Sea entrances, and those from ship passages, adding that research work continues.
The project will be financed through a mix of public-private partnerships and it would be the most expensive infrastructural project of the country, according to the minister, who did not disclose the exact cost estimates.
Turkey would most probably charge the use of the route as the canal would not be subject to Montreux Conventions Regarding the Use of Straits.
World Maritime News Staff