FILE - Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El Sisi listens as Yehia Zaki explains development of the New Administrative Capital
CAIRO - 13 August 2020: Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has issued a decree renewing the term of Yehia Zaki, the chairman of the General Authority for Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), for one year starting August 12.
Zaki was appointed in August last year, to succeed veteran Mohab Mamish.
Also, Sisi renewed trust in Osama Rabee', as the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority for another year.
Rabee' was born in 1955 and graduated from the Egyptian Naval Academy in 1977. He had assumed a number of military posts, including being a commander of a minesweeper, chief of staff of the mine action brigade and head of maritime art in the Naval Academy.
Five years ago, the New Suez Canal, one of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s earliest projects, was inaugurated. This new canal is simply a waterway that is parallel to the famous Suez Canal, with the aim of facilitating traffic in both directions and minimizing the waiting time for transiting ships.
The main goal of the Suez Canal, both the original and the new one, is to link the Red Sea in eastern Egypt, through Suez city on the Gulf of Suez, with the Mediterranean Sea in the northern part of the country, through Port Said city, passing by Ismailia city almost halfway.
The 35-kilometer New Suez Canal was drilled in a record time as it took only less than a year to be announced completed. Both canals reportedly house 12 percent of international trade, through the huge commercial ships passing through. The new canal cost around LE 20 billion ($1.25 billion).
According to the Suez Canal Authority, the New Suez Canal can accommodate commercial vessels with up to 66 feet vessel draft (about 20 meters), as the new waterway is 24-meter deep and 317-meter wide at water level.
Suez Canal Authority Chairman Osama Rabee' said the opening of the New Suez Canal has led total revenues to hit dlrs 27.2 billion in five years, state’s news agency MENA reported.
On the fifth anniversary of the New Suez Canal launch, he said about 90,000 ships with a combined cargo of 5.5 billion tons transited the canal over this period.
Besides its technical and economic advantages, the New Suez Canal has also become the starting point for adopting a comprehensive development strategy for upgrading the entire Canal region, he said.
He noted that efforts under way to upgrade the waterway are going on well in line with the set timetable.
The navigation reports since the beginning of 2020 until August underlined the key role played by the waterway despite international challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, he said, pointing out that during this period about 11,250 ships transited the canal with 693 million tons of cargo.
The canal's revenues during this period recorded $3.3 billion.