Boskalis consortium acquires Suez Canal expansion contract

A consortium consisting of Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis), Van Oord, NMDC (Abu Dhabi) and Jan de Nul (Belgium) has acquired a contract from the Suez Canal Authorities in connection with the expansion of the Suez Canal. The total contract value amounts to USD 1.5 billion, with each partner entitled to an equal share of USD 375 million.

The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction, it allows ships to travel between Europe and eastern Asia without navigating around Africa thereby reducing the sea voyage distance between Europe and India by about 7,000 kilometres (4,300 mi).

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The ‘new’ Suez Canal will partially run in parallel to the current waterway and partially entail widening and deepening of existing parts thereof. The contract includes the construction of the parallel section of the canal with a length of approximately 50 kilometers to allow ships to simultaneously transit in two directions as well as the widening and deepening of a number of existing sections to a depth of 24 meters. The majority of the dredging activities for the canal expansion will be executed with 17 cutter suction dredgers. The project will commence in 2014 and is expected to be completed in 2015.

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Boskalis’ strategy is aimed at benefitting from key macro-economic factors which drive worldwide demand in our markets: expansion of the global economy, increase in energy consumption, global population growth and the challenges that go hand in hand with climate change. This project is driven by increasing global trade.

Update 12th june 2015

The finish of the Suez Canal project is in sight. The dredging of more than a million cubic meters of sand a day is unprecedented. And this assignment has also pushed back the boundaries in terms of speed, and the deployment of equipment and manpower.

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