Egypt’s second Suez Canal is ready for opening in August as a trial run went smoothly ….reports Asian Lite News
The first cargo ships have passed through Egypt’s second Suez Canal, amid tight security, ahead of the new waterway’s official opening in August. Construction on the new lane, which runs alongside part of the existing canal, started less than a year ago.
The 72km (44 mile) route allows two-way traffic and can accommodate larger vessels. Several container ships from around the world successfully navigated it on Saturday as part of a trial run. Helicopters and naval vessels escorted the ships as part of the security operation.
The project includes 35 km of dry digging and 37 km of expansion and deepening of the current canal, with a total cost of more than $8 billion. The national project also includes the digging of six new tunnels underneath the New Suez Canal that will be constructed simultaneously.
Head of the canal authority Mohab Memish said the project will change the trade scenario of the world. The project was designed to be finished within three years, but Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ordered the New Suez Canal be done in one year sharp and be open for ship navigation in early August 2015.
“It is the hugest dredging work in the world and the new canal will be inaugurated on August 5, 2015,” Memish said.
The original Suez Canal opened almost 150 years ago and links the Mediterranean with the Red Sea. It currently handles 7% of global sea-borne business, and is one of Egypt’s main sources of foreign currency income. The project has been labelled “a rebirth” for Egypt by Mamish.