Egypt: Suez Canal expansion project

The project involves the construction of a new navigable canal parallel to the current road, for a length of 72 km, of which 35 km of new canal and expansion and dredging for the remaining 37 km. According to the Egyptian president Al-Sisi and the president of the Suez Canal Authority, Moham Mamish, the project would allow to increase the transit capacity of the channel, reduce the travel time from 11 to 3 hours, to navigate in the new channel in both directions for almost half of the route. The president clarified that the project for the new channel will not receive foreign funding and the work will be carried out by Egyptian companies under the control of the Egyptian army. The work is expected to be completed in five years and will cost about eight billion dollars, including costs related to the construction of the channel and works related to it. The increase of the traffic marine estimated from the authorities would concur to increase the proceeds – minimum estimate + 2,59% – relative to the passage of the cargo ships, that currently represent the 7,5% of the transported goods in the world. The increase of the revenues would go to compensate the reduction of the revenues of the tourism and the flow of the foreign investments, whose reduction is connected to the revolts against the government Morsi of 2011. Some English analysts believe that the validity of the arguments presented by the Egyptian authorities is all to be verified. In fact, only half of the channel will have a stretch that will increase its capacity, while the other half will remain unchanged, and the work would be a propaganda stunt for the new president Al-Sisi, in search of consensus among the population. Others argue that the extension of the Canal should protect the Suez trade route between Europe and South-East Asia from competition from the Arctic route, which could soon become navigable all year round as a result of the melting of the ice caused by global warming. The Israeli Government recently announced its intention to build a rail link between the ports of Eilat on the Red Sea and Asdod on the Mediterranean. The project would be partly financed by China and could be an alternative to the Suez Canal.

TitleEgypt: Suez Canal expansion project
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