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NMDC wins $272 million Suez Canal dredging contract

2023-01-11 Tamara Parkin

11012023 // suez3.jpg (32 K)

Photo Credit: NMDC

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has awarded United Arab Emirates-based National Marine Dredging (NMDC) a $272 million contract to dredge a section (122-132 km) of the Suez Canal where the Panamanian container ship Ever Given ran aground in 2021. The project will extend the canal's dual-lane capacity from 72km to 82km in its southern portion. The dredging campaign is part of the SCA-led Suez Canal Area Development project to expand and deepen the canal to accommodate larger ships and improve traffic safety.

Expansion works are also being completed along the southern part of the Suez Canal, between the 132-162km section, to widen it by 40m to the east and deepen it to 72ft from its current 66 ft. According to SCA, the project will increase navigational safety by 28% and is expected to allow additional calls by up to six more ships per year.

The expansion work is set  to be completed by 2023. The development of the Canal's length, width, and depth aims to reduce the transit time of vessels using the waterways, the total cost of the ships' entire trip, and the waiting times at the anchorage area for transiting vessels. Expansion of the Suez Canal could see vessel numbers increase from 49 per day, as reported in 2014, to 97 per day by 2023.

NMDC previously worked on the canal's 122-132 km section when the company led a consortium to construct the area as part of the Suez Canal Area Development Project from 2014-2015. Other consortium members include Boskalis, Van Oord, and Jan De Nul, who helped create a new 34km long canal parallel to the existing channel.

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