Suez Side Channel gets Official Approval


Vice Admiral Mohab Mamish, Head of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), has formally approved the construction of a new 9.5-kilometre-long, 17 metre deep and 250 metre wide access channel to Port Said East at a recent ceremony at SCA’s training centre in Ismailia, which will permit uninterrupted vessel traffic to the Suez Canal Container Terminal.

At present, due to convoy traffic on the canal, vessels calling Port Said East are restricted to an eight-hour daily transit window. The project is expected to be completed within seven months.

The side channel project is part of the Suez Canal Development Project which included the opening of the significantly enlarged canal on August 6, 2015, which now permits two-way traffic along the 163-kilometre-long canal linking the Red Sea with the Mediterranean Sea.

Klaus Holm Laursen, Managing Director of SCCT, said: “We are proud to be a part of this newest infrastructure project which reinforces Egypt’s major role as a facilitator in global trade and logistics, and we salute the Egyptian Government’s foresight and ongoing dedication to economic growth and development.”

The Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT), which handled 3.4 million TEU in 2014, is part of the APM Terminals (APMT) Global Terminal Network, and is a joint-venture between APMT, with a 55% majority share, COSCO Pacific and the SCA.

A recently completed SCCT expansion project has enlarged its annual throughput capacity to three million TEU.

This will increase to 5.4 million TEU annual throughput capacity with the delivery of four new super-Post-Panamax cranes able to work 18,000 TEU capacity vessels; SCCT is the only facility in Egypt able to accommodate vessels of 15,500 TEU and above.

SCCT will be providing US$15 million toward the side channel project, which will significantly increase vessel traffic to the gateway and transhipment hub.

Over 17,000 vessels transited the Suez Canal in 2014, including 6,129 container ships carrying over 42 million TEU.

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