Egypt to Open New Improved Suez Canal

02.Aug.15

Egypt to Open New Improved Suez Canal Time on 31 July 2015: Egypt has completed construction of a multibillion-dollar expansion of the Suez Canal that the government says will boost the country’s economy and aid world trade.
The expansion was a massive project completed in just one year after it was initially projected to take three. It adds 35 kilometers of new channels, in addition to 37 kilometers of existing waterways that were dredged to allow larger ships to pass. According to the Suez Canal Authority, 258 million cubic meters of earth were removed from the desert to cut the new channels.
The development will allow more ships to pass through the canal on a given day, reducing wait times for one of the world’s most important shipping channels. The government expects that the project, along with increases in world trade, will increase the daily number of ships from 49 at present to 97 a day by 2023. The project’s total cost is more than $8 billion, but the government claims it will more than double the annual revenue generated by the canal, which is currently around $3 billion.
The canal was completed in 1869 and it allowed ships to get from Europe to South Asia without sailing around Africa. Control of it was considered so important that Britain, France and Israel tried to wrest it away from Egypt in 1956.
For Egypt’s military-backed government, the completion of the project at lighting speed offers a chance to project an image of competence, prosperity, and stability after years of unrest following the 2011 uprising that unseated president Hosni Mubarak. The new portions of the canal are set to be inaugurated next week in an elaborate ceremony in which the government is expected tout the new canal as glorious achievement.


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