Suez Canal chief proposes widening, deepening vital waterway

Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority plans to widen and deepen parts of the waterway to improve the movement of ships in the area where a stranded container vessel blocked traffic in March, the its chief said Tuesday.

The proposed plan, outlined by Osama Rabie, would be to widen a 30-kilometer (18.6 mile) stretch by about 40 meters (131 feet) and deepen that area to 72 feet instead of the current 62 feet.

Authorities would also add on a 10-kilometer stretch of lanes linked to an extension that was completed in 2015. The expansion would take two years, he said.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, speaking at the same event, said he doesn’t want to mobilize “huge” public funding for the project as the government did when expanding the canal years earlier. El-Sisi said “we’re not in a hurry” for the project to be completed.

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