Egypt to construct new side channel at Port Said

A new side channel is about to be built near the Suez Canal to provide smaller ships in the Mediterranean a 24 hour access to East Port Said instead of the current eight-hour access, Reuters reports, citing Managing Director of Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT), Klaus Holm Laursen.

The USD 60 million-worth canal is aimed at allowing vessels to enter and leave East Port Said without hindering Suez Canal traffic.

The project was originally slated to be completed by 2012, but it was delayed on several occasions. The dredging project for the new waterway was launched in January, 2013, when SCCT was still in discussions with the port authority and the Ministry of Transport on how best to implement the new side channel, according to Inchape Shipping.

The construction of the new waterway will now begin following the inauguration of the New Suez Canal set for August 6th and is expected to last seven months. The side channel would be 9.5 km in length, 18.5 metres in depth, and 250 metres in width. SCCT plans to set aside USD 15 million for the construction project. 

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