Egypt’s New Suez Canal, being built alongside the existing 145-year-old historic waterway, will open in early August, according to the Suez Canal Authority.
“The digging and dredging works will conclude on July 15. The opening of the New Suez Canal will be on August 6, according to the orders of the Egyptian people and the Egyptian president,” says Mohab Mameesh, chairman and managing director of the Suez Canal Authority.
“Once President Al Sisi orders the start of navigation on August 6, ships will be able to go through the canal,” he adds.
The army began work 10 months ago on the new canal at a cost of $8 billion and as part of a multi-billion-dollar project to expand trade along the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
Eighty-five per cent of dredging works have been completed, with 219.3 million cu m of sand excavated from a total of 258 million cu m, Mameesh says, adding that the new waterway would be fully secured.
“There are not only digging or dredging works, but also we are preparing the maritime path to be valid and secure for global navigation. We will not allow any ship to pass unless it has navigational security,” he says.
Alongside the new canal, the government also plans to build an international industrial and logistics hub near the Suez Canal, which it expects will eventually make up about a third of the Egyptian economy.