The current Suez Canal is congested, the canal is mostly a one-lane affair; ships cross in convoys, and the canal has a capacity of appx. 50 ships / day.
Ships are limited to 20 m. draught, 240.000 DWT, and a max. beam of 77.5 m.
Egypt announced, in August 2014, the construction of a new canal-section, 72 km long, combined with expansion and deeper dredging of the rest of the canal. This will allow navigation in both directions simultaneously, increasing capacity to appx. 100 ships per day, basically upgrading the canal from a single, to a double lane.The Suez Canal earns Egypt $5 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 the 2011 uprising.
The new canal, part of a larger project to expand port Suez, aims to establish Egypt as a major trade hub.
The total estimated cost of dredging the new canal would be appx. $4 billion and is to be completed in five years, though Egypt will strive to finish it within a more ambitious three-year deadline.
The expansion of the canal would be financed completely with Egyptian capital. Since the days of Nasser, the Suez Canal became a symbol of Egyptian nationalism.
Egypt also issued a set of commemorative stamps, for the 145th birthday of the Canal.
Unfortunately, the design of the stamps show a small glitch. Spot the error:
Marc Van de Velde