UAE dredging and marine construction firm National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) has announced the completion of the New Suez Canal project.
The $8bn (£5bn) project had been projected to take three years but on the orders of the president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, the former military chief who led the overthrow of an elected Islamist government in 2013, was completed after one year.
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and chairman of the UAE-backed Coordination Office of Development Projects in Egypt, said that a new Suez Canal channel would cement Egypt’s role as a keystone in the world economy.
“We are proud that the UAE National Marine Dredging Company was heavily involved in this project, which is part of a powerful consortium including Dutch companies Van Oord, Boskalis and the Belgian company Jan de Nul,” he said.
The announcement comes after a total of six container ships from around the world navigated the canal as part of the trial run towards ensuring its readiness for full-fledged operations last week.
The coordination between several companies and the Egyptian authorities took 10 months to execute the 35 kilometres of marine dredging for the channel.
“That demonstrates the efficiency of UAE companies and their ability to transfer expertise and accomplish goals in record time.”
The National Marine Dredging Company led the Challenge Consortium that won the US $1.5 billion project. The consortium included three of world's largest marine dredging companies including Boskalis
and Van Oord from Netherlands and Jan de Nul from Belgium
The construction works of executed by the consortium involved digging of 35 km of a new waterway to a depth of 24m and a width of 317m.
At the launch of the project, the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi directed
the implementation period of the project be reduced from three years to one, presenting a challenge for NMDC and its consortium due to the sheer scale of work involved as well as the difficulties associated with management, manpower and logistics of the project.
Expressing his pride at the completion of the mega project in less than a year, Yasser Zaghloul, CEO, National Marine Dredging Company and chairman of the Challenge Consortium said that the project would have a profound impact on the economic landscape of Egypt and its sustainable development process.