25-06-2022 11:12 AM Jerusalem Timing

Sisi Inaugurates ’New Suez Canal’

Sisi Inaugurates ’New Suez Canal’

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday inaugurates a "new" Suez Canal in what called in the media as "a historic moment of the country", as Egypt seeks to boost its economy and international standing.

Egypt: New SuezEgyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday inaugurates a "new" Suez Canal in what called in the media as "a historic moment of the country", as Egypt seeks to boost its economy and international standing.

The event in the port city of Ismailiya, due to be attended by several heads of state including French President Francois Hollande, comes two years after then army chief Sisi overthrew his Muslim Brotherhood predecessor.

Sisi broke ground on the project last August after being elected president on promises of strengthening security and reviving a dilapidated economy.

The new section, built at a cost of $9 billion (7.9 billion euros) and funded entirely by Egyptian investors, runs part of the way alongside the existing canal connecting the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

"It's an achievement for the people who managed to fund it as a national project and accomplished it through perseverance and hard work," Sisi's office has said.

It involved 37 kilometers of dry digging, creating what is effectively a "second lane", and widening and deepening another 35 kilometers of the existing canal.

It will cut the waiting period for vessels from 18 hours to 11.

By 2023 the number of ships using the canal will increase to 97 per day from 49 now.

Officials hope the new waterway will more than double Suez earnings from $5.3 billion expected at the end of 2015 to $13.2 billion in 2023.