National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC), together with other members of the Challenge Consortium (Jan De Nul, Boskalis and Van Oord), has announced the completion of the New Suez Canal project following its successful trial run on Saturday, July 25.
A total of six container ships from around the world navigated the canal as part of the trial run towards ensuring its readiness for full-fledged operations. Three ships navigated the canal from Suez in the south and moved to the north, while three ships sailed from Port Said in the north towards the Mediterranean Sea in the south.
The trial run is an important step in achieving the objectives of the massive expansion project that aims to enhance the operational capabilities of Suez Canal to cope with the increasing traffic. A landmark project set to transform the Egyptian economy, the new canal will allow the passage of larger vessels, reduce waiting period and open up new revenues streams for the economy.
The National Marine Dredging Company led the Consortium that won the $1.5 billion dredging project. The completed construction works involved dredging of 35 km of a new waterway to a depth of 24 meters and a width of 317 meters.
At the launch of the project, the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi directed the implementation period of the project to be reduced from three years to one, presenting a huge challenge for NMDC and its consortium due to the sheer scale of work involved as well as the difficulties associated with management, manpower and logistics of the project.
Expressing his pride at the completion of the mega project in less than a year, Engineer Yasser Zaghloul, CEO, National Marine Dredging Company and Chairman of the Challenge Consortium said that the project would have a profound impact on the economic landscape of Egypt and its sustainable development process.
He added: “To realize this formidable task in record time, we deployed 26 dredgers and 40 additional equipment – an unprecedented number to have been deployed in a single project within a tight schedule of less than 12 months. The short duration of the project meant speeding up the ground deployment and logistic works. The first dredgers arrived at the site and began work within two weeks after signing the contract, something unheard of in the history of deep excavation and dredging. Within record time, we commenced the project work which continued non-stop around the clock as we were racing against time to meet the deadline and leave our foot prints in modern Egypt’s history.”
“For this project, we leveraged our extensive expertise of over decades of dredging and marine construction gained from our association with major projects in the UAE and abroad. Our biggest challenge was to implement the project in a short time frame of less than a year that required dredging of 1.5 million cubic meters every day – a huge rate as per any industry norm. During some months, we even outpaced the highest global record of eight million cubic meters per month through dredging more than 40 million cubic meters. The total amount of sand dredged in the project reached more than 200 million cubic meters, a formidable number by any industry standards,” revealed Mr. Yasser Zaghloul to Dredging Today.
Egypt is gearing up for the official inauguration of the new channel on Thursday, August 6, 2015 at an event that will draw the participation of heads of states and official delegations from around the world.
The National Marine Dredging Company has previously delivered many large-scale projects in the UAE and abroad, including 65 km Mussafah Channel Project, the Abu Dhabi Corniche project, and the construction of four industrial islands as part of the Zakum Offshore field.