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Egypt plans to dig new Suez Canal costing S$5 billion

Published on Aug 5, 2014 6:48 PM
 
A fisherman travels on a boat near container ships in the Suez Canal, near Ismailia port city, northeast of Cairo on May 2, 2014. Egypt plans to build a new Suez Canal alongside the existing 145-year-old historic waterway in a multi-billion dollar project aimed at expanding trade along the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia. -- PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO (REUTERS) - Egypt plans to build a new Suez Canal alongside the existing 145-year-old historic waterway in a multi-billion dollar project aimed at expanding trade along the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

The Suez Canal earns Egypt about US$5 billion (S$6.2 billion) a year in revenues, a vital source of hard currency for a country that has suffered a slump in tourism and foreign investment since its 2011 uprising.

The new channel, part of a larger project to expand Suez port and shipping facilities, aims to raise Egypt's international profile and establish it as a major trade hub. "This giant project will be the creation of a new Suez Canal parallel to the current channel of a total length of 72 kilometres," Mohab Mamish, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, told a conference in Ismailia, a port town on the Canal. His comments were broadcast by state television.

He said the total estimated cost of drilling the new channel would be about US$4 billion and be completed in five years, though Egypt will strive to finish it within a more ambitious three-year deadline.

 
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