Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Suez Canal expansion on schedule

Suez Canal expansion on schedule
Egypt expects to complete the Suez Canal expansion project in July, a month earlier than originally planned.

"I believe this will be finished by July," Supply and Internal Trade Minister, Khaled Hanafy, told Seatrade Global on the sidelines of Marlog 4 in Alexandria.

"This is a little before the deadline. The project will be ending in July, which is one month before schedule,” he said.

“I believe that other projects, like the Damietta logistics [centre] for grain, that converts Egypt into the grain hub in the region, will help as well. This project will take 18 months. We are doubling the capacity. We will have a logistics hub. We capitalise on our location for the first time.”

He said the Suez Canal was vital to Egypt’s economy, echoing estimates last year that the expansion project would double capacity and nearly triple annual revenues to over $13bn by 2023.

“We are talking about a channel that carries 25% of the containerised trade worldwide so if we can have some value-added activities, logistics zones, industrial zones, this will add to the capacity of the Egyptian economy,” said Hanafy.

Egyptian shipping officials are given to saying that President Abdelfattah El-Sisi flies up and down the canal by helicopter at 6.30am to check on the progress of the expansion works every day of the week.

“He has no weekend. He works seven days a week,” said one executive.