The dredging process for a new side channel leading directly to East Port Said commenced yesterday (15 January).
The new channel will allow ships coming from the Mediterranean to enter the Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT), without hindering the Suez Canal convoys.
Ships calling at the SCCT have taken advantage of a special standing as far as transit is concerned, whereas ships heading into the canal from the Med Ports, have to anchor 4-5 hours before the convoy starts. Vessels loading or unloading with SCCT are treated as if they are at anchor and slip in on the back of the existing convoy as it goes through.
The SCCT can accept vessels with a draught of 14.5 meters and with dredging this will be taken down to 16 meters. SCCT is currently in discussions with the port authority and the Ministry of Transport on how best to implement the new side channel.