EgyptMain Sliderrecommendations

‘Is this the best time to dig a new Suez Canal?’ – MP questions Egyptian Government

Egyptian Parliament member and Vice-President of the Social Democratic Party, Freddy al-Bayyadi, raised an issue to the Prime Minister regarding the state’s intention to carry on with the Suez Canal duplication project, RT Arabic reported.

He expressed concerns that the project could lead to increased foreign influence in Egypt, thereby posing a threat to national security.

Bayyadi also voiced his fears about the potential for environmental damage and the impact on local communities.

The Suez Canal Authority announced the state’s intention to complete the duplication of the Suez Canal for a distance of 80 km, which is longer than the previous project that cost about LE64 billion to dig the branch (about 10 billion dollars at the exchange rate at the time of the start of the project implementation),” he said.

“The amount was not enough, so the state borrowed about US$850 million from local banks, while the state’s general budget bore about LE7.6 billion annually, which is the amount of debt service for the 64 billion that was collected.”

He continued, “The government must answer several questions: Is this the most appropriate time to think about a project of this size in the midst of a grinding economic crisis that we are still trying to get out of?!”

“And is this the most appropriate time in light of a regional crisis and geopolitical challenges that have led to a 50 percent decline in the volume of navigation and revenues of the Suez Canal?! And how does this announcement align with the government’s pledge to stop starting any new giant projects?!” he added.

The MP expressed further doubts, stating, “The head of the authority stated that the new project will not burden the state budget – rather, it will be spent on the revenues from investment projects in the Suez Canal! Was the Suez Canal independent from the Egyptian state?! It is one of the most important resources of the state, if not the most important already! Why is the government determined not to adhere to the idea of a united state budget?!”

“And where is the internal feasibility study that the Chairman of the Authority talked about and which was carried out by the Planning Department of the Authority?”

“Why was the preliminary feasibility study not presented for study and discussion within the specialized parliamentary committees before presenting it to external companies?!”, he questioned.

“The head of the authority mentioned the names of the two Egyptian companies that will conduct the feasibility study. On what basis were these two companies chosen? And what is the cost of this study? Is it more appropriate for two engineering companies to carry it out instead of large companies or financial institutions, to study the economic feasibility in the first place?!”

The MP concluded by saying, “Will the completion of this project require the entry of other parties and countries into investment projects along the canal and in Sinai, which poses a danger to Egypt’s national security in this specific region?!”


Doubling the canal

Egypt is preparing to conduct a feasibility study on a giant new project aiming to expand the Suez Canal to speed up transit times and avoid maritime traffic jams.

Journalist Ahmed Moussa revealed, through his program “By My Responsibility” on Sunday, that the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Osama Rabie will present to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi the “duplication of the Suez Canal” project.

According to Moussa, the Egyptian state is currently working on creating two canals at a length of 192 km, to solve ship waiting times which can extend to three hours.

He assured that the project to double the Suez Canal will have a 100 percent safety rate.

He noted that in the past 70 to 80 ships would travel through the canal daily, and following the project the passage of ships through Egypt will increase and the passage period will be reduced to approximately nine hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button