Monday, April 12, 2021

The Suez Canal … the lifeblood of Egypt and the world

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Prepare Suez Canal Where navigation has been obstructed since last Tuesday, the lifeblood of Egypt and the world, and the most used trade route, through which more than 10 to 12% of world trade passes through.

Since its opening 150 years ago, the canal has been regularly expanding and modernizing to keep pace with the great development in the volumes of cargo ships.

The canal was closed 5 times throughout its history, and the longest period of closure was recorded about 8 years during the 1967 war and the October war, 1973 until the late President Anwar Sadat announced in his historic speech to the People’s Assembly (March 29, 1975) the reopening of the Suez Canal, and on June 5, 1975 it was opened. The channel is in front of global navigation.

In 2015, the Suez Canal witnessed a great expansion, extending the length of the shipping course to 193.30 km and increasing its depth to 24 meters, thus becoming able to receive giant tankers with a capacity of 240 thousand tons and a depth of up to 20.1 meters. The government called the “New Suez Canal” on the expanded course. .

Read also – a ship stranded in the Suez Canal endangers global shipping

The new Suez Canal was established from quantum 60 to quantum 95, in addition to expanding and deepening the branches of the Great Lakes and Al-Balah, with a total length of 37 km (the total length of the project is 72 km).

The canal is a vital source of income for foreign exchange for Egypt, as it achieved revenues of $ 5.61 billion during the past year, which is the third highest annual revenue in the history of the canal. About 18,829 ships crossed the Suez Canal with a total net tonnage of 1.17 billion tons, which is the second highest annual net tonnage. In the history of the channel.

Despite the Corona pandemic, the Suez Canal succeeded in attracting many shipping lines and companies that were not crossing the canal, and increasing the market share of the canal on some roads for which the canal is not the first choice, by attracting 4,087 ships achieving revenues of $ 930 million, representing 16.6% of The total revenue of the Suez Canal during the past year.

Projections indicate the possibility of double traffic in the canal by 2023, especially in light of the presence of two directions of passage through the corridor, which helps reduce waiting times.

The Suez Canal is the fastest sea route to transport most of the oil from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean. The trip between the ports in the Gulf and London, for example, is cut roughly in half when passing through the Suez Canal compared to the Cape of Good Hope through the southern tip of the African continent.

Most of the shipments heading from the Gulf to Western Europe are oil, but in the opposite direction, most of what is transported from Europe and North America to the Far East and Asia is manufactured goods and grains.

Stations in the history of the channel

In the days of the Pharaohs, a first canal connected the Gulf of Suez with the Nile Delta, but it was not used later due to the expense of cleaning it from the large sand.

In 1854, Said Pasha, who became Viceroy of Egypt, gave impetus to the project by signing a concession to the French undertaker and diplomat Ferdinand de Lucibes who established the Suez Company.

The project aimed to connect the Red and Mediterranean Bahrain. It took ten years (1859-1869) to work in it, and a million Egyptians worked there, of whom thousands died during the workshop.

The canal was inaugurated in 1869 in a huge ceremony in the presence of Napoleon III’s wife, Empress Eugenie.

It was 164 kilometers long and eight meters deep. It accommodated ships with a capacity of 5,000 tons and a depth of 6.7 meters, which were the measurements of the largest part of the world’s fleets at that time, according to the Suez Canal Authority.

In 1887 the canal was modernized to allow navigation during the night, which doubled its capacity.

In 1956, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser announced the nationalization of the waterway that was administered by Britain and France, based on the concept of Arab nationalism and a rejection of colonialism, and this caused an international crisis that ended with an attack by Israel, France and Britain on Egypt.

During the Arab-Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973, the canal was damaged and closed for several months. Then the mines were removed from them and reinstated.

In the year 2015, the Egyptian Canal witnessed a major expansion and was launched into the New Suez Canal.

The article “The Suez Canal” … the lifeblood of Egypt and the world was written in Al-Borsa newspaper.

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