EXCLUSIVE: Suez Canal dredging nears end
The annual revenues of Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) are at an all-time high – amounting to $9.4 billion during the 2022/2023 fiscal year. This information was revealed by SCA Chief Admiral Osama Rabie yesterday.
Rabie also added that a total of 25,887 ships crossed the Suez Canal maritime passage over the year, with 1.5 billion tons.
“The Suez Canal has succeeded during the past 4 years in achieving a quantum leap in its work results, despite the successive global crises that the Suez Canal faced like the Coronavirus pandemic, the global recession, and the crisis of the Russian-Ukrainian war,” he said.
The SCA’s development strategy for 2030 is based on several axes, most notably developing the canal’s navigational course, upgrading the authority’s marine fleet, optimizing assets and diversifying sources of income.
Expansion of the southern entrance of the Suez Canal
The ongoing development of the southern part (of the maritime course) will increase the capacity of ship transit through this part, and increase the navigational safety factor by 28 percent, according to Admiral Rabie, noting that the project of expansion is expected to complete in one month and a half.
In May 2021, Egypt started the dredging work to expand the southern entrance of the Suez Canal few weeks after the accident of the Panama-flagged Ever Given ship that went aground in the southern entrance and caused the suspension of the world trade shipping through the canal for six days.
The digging works started in parallel passages from the 132nd kilometer to the 162nd kilometer lying in the southern section of the international waterway near the Suez Gulf, and from the 122nd kilometer to the 132nd kilometer located in the Bitter Lakes.
The parallel passages will be on the western side of the Canal.
“Expanding the southern part is going at a steady pace and in accordance with the specified schedule, as 94.2 percent of the expanding and deepening work has been completed, dredging 16.6 million cubic meters of sand saturated with water,” Rabie said.
The southern part of the canal “has not undergone any development work since 1990 due to the nature of the solid soil,” he concluded.