Van Oord’s trailing suction hopper dredger “Utrecht”, the first addition to the dredging fleet already working on the New Suez Canal project, has just passed the Strait of Hormuz and is on its way to Suez.
The vessel, with a capacity of 16,000 m³, is the first of two giant dredgers that will help in the creation of the New Suez. With the current speed of approx 14 knots, “Utrecht” is expected to arrive in Suez on May 26th, a day earlier than originally planned.
Second vessel, expected at the site on June 12, is the trailing suction hopper dredger “Oranje”. She belongs to the Dutch dredging contractor Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. and also has capacity of 16,000 m³.
With these two additions, a total of 42 vessels will be working on the New Suez Canal project in order to complete all dredging activities before the end of June, after which the experimental operation of the new canal will start.
The New Suez Canal project will establish a new 72-kilometer canal parallel to the current one that will speed up the transit time and allow ships to sail into both directions.
Official inauguration of the new waterway has been set for August 2015.