Tractors work on Egypt's New Suez Canal project at the Suez Canal zone, Egypt, June 13, 2015 - REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih
CAIRO – 9 August 2018: Egypt celebrated Monday the third anniversary of the inauguration of the New Suez Canal.
During the ceremony, Chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) Mohab Mamish reviewed the project and what have changed in the old SuezCanal to have the new one, besides anticipating the upcoming changes in numbers.
Egypt Today presents a Q&A about the New Suez Canal after three years of its existence on the land of pharaohs.
Q: What are the characteristics of the New Suez Canal?
A: Three years ago, Egypt decided to have a new Canal by drilling about 35 kilometers, expanding and deepening 37 kilometers, with a total length of 72 kilometers.
Q: What is the importance of the project?
A: It aims at doubling the navigation lane, lowering ships transit time form 18 hours to 11 hours, increasing the capacity of the canal to 97 ships instead of 49 ships. Also, all sizes of ships can now cross the canal at any direction.
Q: What is the cost of the project?
A: Drilling the new canal amounted to around LE 20 billion.
Q: Who funded the project?
A: The Egyptians as they were the main contributor tothe New Suez Canal’s fund through paying LE 64 billion.
Q: What will the rest of the fund be used for?
A: It will be used to implement the developmental projects as the tunnels that connect the two banks together, the floated bridges, besides adding 12 ferryboats to Abour axes to Sinai, developing Ahmed Magdy tunnel under the Canal, and Working on a new tunnel at the north of Ahmed Hamdy tunnel.
Q: What are the national projects at the canal?
The national projects are:
- Fish Farming projects to achieve self-sufficiencyand to start exporting them abroad.
- Developing equipment and ships working on the Canal; including Ahmed Fadl ship which participates at Zohr gas Field.
- Building fish boats to improve the Egyptian fishing fleet.
- Developing East Port Said port.
Q: What is the current situation of the development project?
A: The development project is witnessing new advancesin the infrastructure of the basis of the development of six ports, and the establishment of industrial and logistics projects to be ready to work as soon as possible within the initiative of the belt and the road launched by China, making Egypt more able to benefit from the volume of world trade between east and west.
Q: How was the project implemented in just one year?
A: Egyptians helped in the provision of the project’s fund in a very short period. Egypt used about 75 percent of the world’s drills have been used in this project, recording the biggest drilling process in the history.
Around 40,000 workers participated in the drilling with 84 Egyptian companies participating in the project using 4,500 equipment.
The amount of sand drilled equals the size of 10 pyramids, 250 million cubic meter of dry sands, or 242 million cubic meters of sands filled with water.
Q: What is the financial outcome of the project?
A: The income of the canal will soar 259 percent in 2023, and the annual income of the canal will jump to $13.23 billion in 2023, compared to $5.3 billion in 2014.
Q: What are the main objectives of the New Suez Canal?
A: The main objectives of the new Canalwasto be prepared for dealing with the growth of the world trade movement and increase the dimensions and loads of transit ships, especially container vessels, increase the competitiveness of the canal and to raise its classification by increasing the length of double parts.
Q: What are the returns of the new canal during the last three years?
A: Since the opening of the new Canal in August 2015, it recorded a return of $15.8 billion (LE 219 billion).
The revenues of the Canal recorded the highest annual revenues in history during fiscal year 2017/2018 totaling $5.6 billion, with an increase of $600 million or 12 percent, compared to the prior year.
The revenues in the Egyptian pound during the fiscal year 2017/2018 reached an unprecedented record of LE 99.1 billion compared to LE 73.2 billion in the fiscal year 2016/2017, with an increase of LE 25.8 billion or 35 percent.