The project is expected to be completed during 2023, and will extend the canal’s dual-lane capacity in its southern portion from 72 km to 82 km.
The dredging project is part of the Suez Canal Area Development project, an ongoing drive by the Suez Canal Authority, to expand and deepen it to accommodate larger ships and improve traffic safety.
SCA is also expanding a 30-km-long segment on the southern part of the Suez Canal between the 132 km and 162 km markers by widening it 40 meters to the east as well as deepening it to 72 ft from the current 66 ft.
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The project will increase navigational safety by 28% and add capacity for six more ships, according to SCA.
The additional length, width and depth of the Suez Canal aims to reduce the transit time of vessels through the waterway and the total cost of the ships’ entire trip with vessel numbers expected to increase from 49 per day reported in 2014 to 97 vessels per day by 2023.
Waiting times at the anchorage area for transiting vessels will also be minimized.
Earlier in 2022, SCA Chairman Osama Rabie, informed during the sidelines of an event in Dubai, said that a project to expand parts of the Suez Canal will be completed in 24 months.