While the construction of the new Suez Canal approaching its final phase, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), is operating the following programme due to current dredging operations, with digging and dredging expected to be concluded by 15th July:
During the dredging period, only one convoy is allowed inside the Suez canal – a convoy will not enter the canal until another convoy exits from Port Said or Suez ; Convoy timings are being decided by the SCA on a daily basis; The SCA is currently operating only one convoy from the north and one per south daily; Time of entering the canal is changeable as per the SCA daily decision; To minimise disruption during this final dredging period the Suez canal is not stopping or closing, but reorganising convoy timings as above.
The new Suez canal measures from 60 kilometres in length to 95 kilometres in length, while the project also involves deepening and widening the Great Bitter Lakes and Ballah bypass to a total length of 37 kilometres.
On completion, the new Suez Canal will create a new parallel waterway to the existing one, increasing the doubled parts of the Suez Canal by 50%. The SCA has also advised that the new channel will accommodate vessels with up to a 24 metres draught and is widening the existing western bypasses to 317 metres.
Other project objectives detailed by the SCA for the new Suez Canal include shortening the transit time from 18 hours to 11 hours for the southbound convoy; Minimising waiting time for vessels to three hours instead of eight to 11 hours; Increasing the daily average of transiting vessels to 97 ships from 49 by 2023; Achieving direct unstopped transmit for 45 ships in both directions.