President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi speaking in a ceremony held in Ismailiyah on May 11, 2021 to inaugurate a number of projects affiliated to the Suez Canal. TV screenshot
CAIRO – 11 May 2021: While attending Tuesday an inauguration ceremony for a number of projects affiliated to the Suez Canal Authority, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi urged finishing an expansion plan in less than one year.
In his speech, Chairman of Suez Canal Authority Admiral Osama Rabie highlighted digging parallel passages from the 132nd kilometer to the 162nd kilometer lying in the southern section of the international waterway near the Suez Gulf, and from the 122nd kilometer to the 132nd kilometer located in the Bitter Lakes. The parallel passages will be on the western side of the Canal.
Those to be added to the parallel Suez Canal introduced in 2015 extending over 72 kilometers. Similarly, the authority is also enlarging the depth from 127 meters to 172 meters.
Furthermore, upgrade works are underway to modernize operations at the authority. Those include introducing 16 digital observation centers. One of them entered inaugurated Tuesday. Also, The Suez Canal Authority purchased three boats that mitigate the environmental impact of the ships crossing, and they will enter service in May 2021, Rabie stated.
In a similar context, the Suez Canal chairman commended the tunnels and floating bridges launched – upon the directives of the president - earlier to connect the banks of the Suez Canal together making the duration of crossing of vehicles and people only 15 minutes.
At the beginning of the ceremony, a video report produced by the Egyptian Armed Forces Information Affairs Department on the achievements accomplished by the Suez Canal Authority during the stranding of MV EVER GIVEN for 6 days was streamed.
The video also showcased the development works carried out over the past years such as enlarging the waterway, upgrading 14 guidance stations, and modernizing the vessel fleet like dredgers and tugboats.
As for the performance of the international waterway, it was underscored that 22 large HMM container ships have recently crossed the Suez Canal. In addition, Rabie stated that 1,731 ships and 1,839 ships crossed the Suez Canal in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Speaking of services offered to the residents of Suez Canal governorates. Thirty-four 34 out of 100 fishing boats have been built to be provided to youngsters as a way to reduce unemployment in Suez Canal governorates. Moreover, a water treatment plant was inaugurated Tuesday in each of Port Said and Ismailiyah. The latter secures 67 percent of the governorate's water needs.
In a different context, the Suez Canal Authority launched a new administrative headquarters in New Ismailiyah City. On the other hand, the old headquarters launched in 1962 is being turned into a museum containing 29 exhibition halls with a progress rate of 60 percent.
President Sisi instructed - in the ceremony - the Suez Canal Authority to finish the expansion plan as soon as possible and not necessarily in a year as scheduled. The president lauded the Suez Canal Authority saying it is a “giant” establishment.
With regard to the 100 fishing boats initiative, President Sisi expressed eagerness on Egypt possessing a decent fishing fleet.
President Sisi witnessed raising the Egyptian flag on Mohab Mamish Dredger named after the former Suez Canal chairman who was attending the ceremony. Mohab Mamish Dredger can dig in a depth between 8 and 35 meters with a maximum capacity of 29,130 cubic meters, as indicated by a Suez Canal official while briefing the president.
In the conclusion of the ceremony, the Egyptian president said that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) crisis is worrying but noted that negotiations require patience urging Egyptians to have confidence in their political leadership.
“May God protect you all from all evil schemes,” the president said hinting at regional crises.