Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The 'miracle' of the second Suez canal

The Egyptian site Mada Masr debunks some of the fantastic stories anbout the ''new Suez canal'': 

Egypt has been bombarded with a constant stream of messages this week about the miracles the New Suez Canal will bring. Not all of these messages hold up to scrutiny.
Myth: The new extension will allow two-way traffic along the canal.
Reality: This is sort of true — 60 percent true, to be more precise. The canal is around 193 km long, and 80.5 of those kilometers already allowed two-way traffic. With the new channel, that figure will increase to 115.5 km.
New Suez Canal Diagram
(Courtesy Suez Canal Authority)
As this diagram from the Suez Canal Authority shows, the extension will get rid of one of the canal’s bottlenecks by adding a second lane on the stretch from the Ballah bypass (an existing two-lane stretch) to the Bitter Lakes (also an existing two-lane stretch). The red arrow (added by Mada Masr) indicates the 35-km-long new channel. The rest of the pink line shows the 37 km where existing shipping lanes have been dredged to allow larger ships to pass through.
Both of these changes will make things easier for shipping companies. Having a longer passing lane means that more ships can travel in each convoy and will make it easier to time north and southbound convoys. However, it won’t eliminate the need for convoys, nor will it make possible unrestricted, free-flowing traffic through the canal.
 (Click here to continue reading)

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