President inaugurates New Suez Canal today
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi will inaugurate the New Suez Canal project today at 2 p.m. local time. The project was started a year ago at a cost of $6 billion. The new section is 21 miles long and will bypass a busy section of the existing canal to allow ships to travel in both directions. The project also included the deepening and expansion of a 23 mile section of the existing canal.
The Egyptian State Information Service says the project is expected to double Suez revenues from $5.3 billion to $13.2 billion. However international experts point out that with the current slump in global shipping the extra capacity is unlikely to be needed at the present time.
The new section of the canal will reduce waiting time from 11 to three hours and double the capacity from 49 to 97 ships a day.
Along with the extension, Egypt is planning to build six car and train tunnels under the canal to link with the Sinai Peninsula. There are also plans for an international logistics, commercial and industrial hub that is planned to create a million jobs.