Armed Forces Complete 25% of New Suez Canal’s Dry Digging – Official

So far, the Egyptian Armed Forces have completed 25% of new Suez Canal’s dry drilling, Mohab Mamish, authority chairman, told a conference in Abu Qir of Alexandria city.

Egyptian government plans to build a new Suez Canal alongside the existing 145-year-old historic waterway in a multi-billion dollar project to expand trade along the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

This giant project will be the creation of a new Suez Canal parallel to the current channel of a total length of 72 kilometres (44.74 miles).

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued on September 1 a decree to govern the financing of the 60 billion Egyptian pound project through investment certificates. The decree pledged the National Egyptian Bank, Banque Misr, Banque Du Caire and the Suez Canal Bank to issue investment certificates with multiple categories to use their outcome in financing the project.

The certificates were first issued September 4 and were available for purchase at four national banks. The outcome of the certificates would be deposited in the Suez Canal Authority’s account at the Central Bank.

The government had announced that five-year investment certificates with an interest rate of 12 percent would be used to finance the project. Certificates were chosen to finance the 60 billion Egyptian-pounds project as they do not grant certificate-holders ownership rights.

Eight working-days later, Egypt has managed to raise the sum it needs to finance the project, $8.5 billion.

Addressing a press conference, the Governor of Egyptian Central Bank Hisham Ramez said he never imagined the funds would be collected in such a short interval of time.

The project is implemented under the supervision of the armed forces. While launching the project, Sisi said digging the new bifurcation to the canal would be completed within a year, instead of a previous deadline of three years.

Meanwhile, cargo weights and number of ships that passed through the Suez Canal during the past three days hit a new record, Mamish said on Sunday.

About 162 vessels transited the Suez Canal, carrying a total of cargo of 9.700 million tons in the past three days, Mamish made the remarks during a tour of the new Suez Canal project.