A formal signing ceremony will now enable vessels to transit to Port Said East through a new side channel to be constructed bypassing the Suez Canal’s main entrance.
Vice Admiral Mohab Mamish, the Head of the SCA, formally approved the construction of a new 9.5 km (5 mile) long, 17 meter (55 feet) deep and 250 meter (820 foot) wide access channel to Port Said East which will permit uninterrupted vessel traffic to the Suez Canal Container Terminal, one of the largest and busiest container facilities on the Mediterranean Sea.
At present, due to convoy traffic on the canal, vessels calling Port Said East are restricted to an eight-hour daily transit window. The USD $36 million project is expected to be completed within seven months.
The side channel project is part of the Suez Canal Development Project which included the opening of the significantly enlarged canal on August 6th, which now permits two-way traffic along the 163 km (101) long canal linking the Red Sea with the Mediterranean Sea.
Over 17,000 vessels transited the Suez Canal in 2014, including 6,129 container ships carrying over 42 million TEUs. The Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT), which handled 3.4 million TEUs in 2014, is part of the APM Terminals Global Terminal Network, and is a joint venture between APM Terminals, with a 55% majority share, COSCO Pacific and the SCA.
SCCT will be providing USD $15 million toward the side channel project, which will significantly increase vessel traffic to the gateway and transhipment hub.
“We are proud to be a part of this newest infrastructure project which reinforces Egypt’s major role as a facilitator in global trade and logistics, and we salute the Egyptian Government’s foresight and ongoing dedication to economic growth and development,” said SCCT Managing Director, Klaus Holm Laursen.
A recently completed SCCT expansion project has enlarged its annual throughput capacity to three million TEUs. This will increase to 5.4 million TEUs annual throughput capacity with the delivery of four new super-Post-Panamax cranes able to work 18,000 TEU capacity vessels; SCCT is the only facility in Egypt able to accommodate vessels of 15,500 TEU and above