UAE's NMDC completes New Suez dredging project

The National Marine Dredging Company has completed the unprecedented New Suez Canal project, with several industry records broken.
Yasser Zaghloul, CEO, National Marine Dredging Company
Yasser Zaghloul, CEO, National Marine Dredging Company

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National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC), the UAE's leading dredging and marine construction company, has announced the completion of the New Suez Canal project following its successful trial run on Saturday, July 25.

A total of six container ships from around the world navigated the canal as part of the trial run towards ensuring its readiness for full-fledged operations. Three ships navigated the canal from Suez in the south and moved to the north, while three ships sailed from Port Said in the north towards the Mediterranean Sea in the south.

The trial run is an important step in achieving the objectives of the massive expansion project that aims to enhance the operational capabilities of Suez Canal to cope with the increasing traffic. A landmark project set to transform the Egyptian economy, the new canal will allow the passage of larger vessels, reduce waiting times and open up new revenue streams for the economy.

The National Marine Dredging Company led the Challenge Consortium that won the US $1.5 billion project. The consortium included three of world's largest marine dredging companies including Boskalis and Van Oord from Netherlands and Jan de Nul from Belgium.

The construction works of executed by the consortium involved digging of 35 km of a new waterway to a depth of 24m and a width of 317m.

At the launch of the project, the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi directed the implementation period of the project be reduced from three years to one, presenting a challenge for NMDC and its consortium due to the sheer scale of work involved as well as the difficulties associated with management, manpower and logistics of the project.

Expressing his pride at the completion of the mega project in less than a year, Yasser Zaghloul, CEO, National Marine Dredging Company and chairman of the Challenge Consortium said that the project would have a profound impact on the economic landscape of Egypt and its sustainable development process.

"To realise this formidable task in record time, we deployed 26 dredgers and 40 additional equipment - an unprecedented number to have been deployed in a single project within a tight schedule of less than 12 months,” said Zaghloul.

“The short duration of the project meant speeding up the ground deployment and logistic works. The first dredgers arrived at the site and began work within two weeks after signing the contract, something unheard of in the history of deep excavation and dredging,” he added.

“Our biggest challenge was to implement the project in a short time frame of less than a year that required dredging of 1.5-million cubic meters every day - a huge rate as per any industry norm,” he added.

According to Zaghloul, National Marine Dredging Company during some months of the project, exceeded the highest global record of eight million cubic meters per month through dredging more than 40 million cubic meters.

The total amount of sand dredged in the project reached more than 200-million cubic meters, which Zaghloul says is “a formidable number by any industry standards”.

Egypt is gearing up for the official inauguration of the new channel on Thursday, August 6, 2015 at an event that will draw the participation of heads of states and official delegations from around the world.

The National Marine Dredging Company has previously delivered many large-scale projects in the UAE and abroad, including 65 km Mussafah Channel Project, the Abu Dhabi Corniche project, and the construction of four industrial islands as part of the Zakum Offshore field.

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