August 6, the New Suez Canal To Be inaugurated

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Based on several inquiries received by Gard P&I Club, regarding the potential risks with respect to transit and navigation through the new Suez channel, the Gard P&I analysed the economic implication of opening of the new Suez Canal on the global markets.

Their analysis includes reports from the Suez Canal Authority ( SCA) regarding the aim of the project and their financial and market projections. According to the SCA,  

  1. A new canal will run parallel to the existing one, to allow ships to pass north and south concurrently and to help cope with the expected growth of world trade.
  2. The New canal will result in an increase in the daily transit of vessels in both directions to 97 from the present 49 ships and increasing the permissible draft to 66 feet all through the Suez Canal.
  3. Construction of a new Canal to an added length of 72 km, deepening and widening of the Great Bitter Lakes by-passes and Ballah bypass by 24 m, with a total length of 37 km.
  4. The two-way transit will ensure savings of upto 11 hours and the waiting time will be as less as 3 hours.
  5. Two way traffic will be restricted at certain sections.
  6. The two canals will be connected by four small waterways and ships will continue to use the canal in longer convoys.

Gard will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as and when available before and after the opening of the new canal.  The latest updates being:  

  1. Gard is presently unaware of any specific problem areas or dangers of transiting the New Suez canal.
  2. So far, no records, safety/security instructions, fixed schedules,  navigational warnings or instructions have been formally published by the SCA, regarding transit via the New Suez Canal.
  3. All member clients are instructed to monitor the SCA website prior to entrance (http://www.suezcanal.gov.eg/).
  4. As per a latest notice issued by the SCA on 13th July.2015, vessels are required to produce a signed and stamped letter of undertaking confirming that the vessels carry no weapons.  The letter must be submitted prior to transit via the canal failing which, face detention.

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