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5 Things you need to know about Egypt's Suez Canal expansion

Egypt is on the brink of a monumental transformation with the expansion of the Suez Canal.
© Egypt Business Directory

Embarking on an ambitious endeavor to bolster its maritime infrastructure, Egypt is on the brink of a monumental transformation with the expansion of the Suez Canal. As the country prepares to embark on this historic project, here are five key insights shedding light on the significance, scope, and potential impact of this strategic initiative.

  1. Doubling the Capacity: Egypt is gearing up for a monumental project to expand the Suez Canal, aiming to alleviate maritime traffic congestion. The plan involves creating two new canals totaling 192 kilometers in length to accommodate the increasing flow of ships and reduce transit times.

  2. Enhanced Efficiency: With the proposed expansion, ship waiting times, which currently can stretch up to three hours, are expected to significantly decrease. The project aims to streamline passage through the canal, potentially reducing transit periods to around nine hours.

  3. Improved Safety: The chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), Osama Rabie, has assured a 100 percent safety rate for the project. By converting single-lane lanes into double-lane crossings, the initiative seeks to enhance safety measures and prevent future blockages like the one caused by the Ever Given incident in 2021.

  4. Economic Impact: The Suez Canal expansion holds economic significance for Egypt, as it is a vital source of foreign currency. Despite initial setbacks due to events such as attacks by Houthi militants and the Ever Given grounding, the project is poised to bolster the canal's competitiveness and attract more significant shipping volumes.

  5. Feasibility Studies: Initial studies for the expansion are set to take about 16 months, covering various aspects such as feasibility, environmental impact, and engineering requirements. The project will be funded through the SCA's investment budget to avoid additional strain on Egypt's general budget, highlighting its strategic importance for the nation's economic development.