Leaks halt Construction at Suez Canal Project

Part of the channel Egypt is building parallel to the Suez Canal suffered leaks in the early hours of Monday, causing no injuries.

Part of the sedimentation basin collapsed and the resulting water flow caused four empty cars and a loader to drift, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported citing witnesses.

Canal chairman Mohab Mameesh checked the site of the collapse, and told the press at the scene that the situation had been brought under control.

El-Watan newspaper initially reported that 250 workers were missing. But this was later denied by Canal officials.

Egypt is expanding the artificial waterway that connects the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, and is one of the country’s main sources of foreign currency reserves. The project is due for completion by August 2015.

Mameesh added that navigation in the original canal would operate as normal, while construction in the collapsed area will resume in a few hours.

Last Wednesday, British Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Tobias Ellwood sailed in the new canal accompanied by British businessmen, becoming the first foreign delegation to do so.

The government estimates the new project will double the canal’s revenues by 2023.

The canal generated some $5.2 billion in revenues during the 2012/2013 fiscal year.

Source: Ahram Online