Popular Front of the Suez Canal Axis considers 1 year timeline for new canal ‘enough’, but economists hold doubts

Doaa Farid
2 Min Read

After shortening the implementation period of the new Suez Canal project from three years to one year, several economic analysts expressed concern about the ability and efficiency of companies to conclude the project in that period.

Suez Canal/ AFP Photo
Suez Canal/ AFP Photo

Abdel Hamid Kamal, a member of the Popular Front of the Suez Canal Axis, said that one year is enough because the feasibility and technical studies of the project are already done, “so the implementing firms can immediately start their work”.

The new Suez Canal project, which was inaugurated by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on 5 August, aims to dig a 72-kilometre canal alongside the original canal as well as increase the absorptive capacity of the Suez Canal to 97 passing ships per day, up from the current rate of 49. The project would involve 35 kilometres of dry digging and 37 kilometres of “expansion and deep” digging.

The cost of the project was valued by the Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Memish at EGP 29bn ($4bn).

Kamal explained that the implementation of the project will be done through dividing the drilling locations between companies, “which will accelerate” the project’s completion.

A former parliament member representing Suez, Kamal, stressed that the Engineering Corps, which will supervise the project, has the ability to finish projects in a short period of time.

However, Amr Adly, a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center, expressed his doubt that a one-year implementation period is not enough, highlighting that operators of the project, the Suez Canal Project and the Engineering Corps, did not provide a detailed presentation of the work plan or the rate of digging per day or month.

Al-Sisi failed to offer clear details regarding the project, Adly said.

The old studies, which estimated the project’s implementation period to last three years, were taking into account the capacity and ability of the implementing companies, doubting that the new timeline is sufficient to companies.

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