The new Suez Canal is completed!
The inauguration of the original Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean with the Red Sea, took place 146 years ago and measured 102 miles long; it took 10 years to complete it. The new canal added 22 miles and was finished in only one year, two years less than expected. It now allows for separate passing of ships in opposite directions. Also included is the deepening and expansion of a 37-kilometre-long section of the existing canal.
During the inauguration a balloon that read “Long live Egypt” cruised above and Egyptian national flags lined the main streets. About 6,000 guests were invited from 90 countries, along with thousands of Egyptians who won tickets via a special lottery.
According to calculations and estimates, it is expected that more than double the number of ships will be passing through the Suez Canal and increasing Egypt’s earnings to $13 billion a year as compared to the now annual $5.5 billion.
The new expansion will also shorten the transit time from 18 to 11 hours for the southbound voyage. The waiting time for vessels should now also be reduced to three hours instead of up to 11 hours.