Public and political support are the secret behind the success of the Suez Canal Tunnels Project

Public and political support are the secret behind the success of the Suez Canal Tunnels Project

May 4, 2019
Admiral Mohab Mameesh, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority and the General Authority of the Canal, said that the new projects in Egypt, Suez Canal economic zone, and the Canal area in particular are the cornerstones of the implementation of the directives of President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. The first project was the development of the navigation route and the implementation of the new Suez Canal which has become of great importance to global trade. The aim of the project was to develop the Canal to enable it to absorb the new generations of giant ships after its current use throughout the world, they can currently pass through the Canal after its depth reached 25 meters.

He added that the project came at the right time, being a national project that represents great importance to the Egyptian people throughout history, it bought back cohesion between Egyptians. The project coincided with the Economic Zone project to establish a new life in this region and to establish integrated urban communities on the banks of the Suez Canal. Suez Canal, the first steps to implementing a giant project in the Suez Canal area.

Mameesh continued: “Without the support of the public and the political support of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, this success and achievement would not have been reflected in the revenues of the Suez Canal. The Suez Canal has become a great source of national income and foreign exchange. We are currently working on attracting many foreign investments in this unique location, in our foreign tours we see the desire of investors and businessmen to invest in this region, because of the stability of the investment climate in Egypt. It is time for Egyptians to celebrate this giant national project, as it is a step in the development of Sinai in the upcoming period.”

He said: “Based on the directives of Sisi, we completed the implementation of Suez Canal tunnels in only 540 days, Egyptians withstood a lot of difficulties to in order to complete the Suez Canal tunnels in a very short period. We started the hard continuous work in planning and implementation in order to accomplish the work and overcome all difficulties. The planning stage included selecting the locations of the tunnels accurately to connect the longitudinal traffic lanes east and west of the canal, in order to serve the development areas in the Sinai. The implementation of the tunnels below the Suez Canal was carried out by the Engineering Corps of the Armed Forces and national companies and is considered a major achievement. The project is proof of the strength, and determination of Egyptians and their ability to implement the impossible.”

“The tunnel is 6 km long with a width of 11.4 meters. The Ismailia tunnel corridor starts below the Ring Road in Al-Moaskar area and the old and new Suez Canal, and heading to the east of the Canal. The Port Said tunnels start from kilo 19 in front of the east of port of Al-Tafraya. The daily drilling rate of the German dig reaches 18 meters a day, the total length of the tunnel is 5700 meters, and the tunnel length dug using open pit mining is 1050 meters. The project consists of two lanes for cars, the first phase of the project, then the second stage, the railway tunnel. An Egyptian consortium comprised of two companies is working on the tunnels project. The tunnel machines and excavators were equipped on the site after the arrival of the largest drilling machine in the world, a machine owned by the Engineering Corps of the Armed Forces (TBM), and is drilling underground. ”

Mameesh added: “The length of the tunnel is approximately 6 kilometres from the west of the Canal to the east direction heading to Sinai, the tunnel is formed of two lanes for cars, one heading to the east of the canal and the other will be to return from Sinai to the west of the canal. The armed forces sent more than 40 engineer officers to train on German rigs, so that the Engineering Authority has Egyptian Engineers at the highest level and so that we can implement our projects without resorting to any foreign expertise or equipment. Our aim is the rehabilitation of Egyptian engineers and workers, which was agreed by President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi with the German companies responsible for digging of the tunnels. This was al-Sisi’s condition when contracting with the German companies, as well as maintaining all the Egyptian engineers and workers. The Company agreed to these conditions and complied with the training centers for engineers and workers.”

He said: “The factory for the production of concrete ring, Segments, was established. The factory components include a casting area with a surface of 4000 meters, an iron workshop of 2800 meters, a storage area of ​​36500 meters which can store 650 concrete rings of Universal type (8 rings + key). The inner diameter of theses rings are 11.4 meters with an external diameter of 12.6 meters, and a perimeter of 2 meters. The rate of production is 15 rings a day. The companies are working with the Suez Canal Authority to train the staff of the Authority and engineers to work in the tunnels, because once the work of tunnels is complete it will be handed over to the Suez Canal Authority for operation and maintenance conduction. Prior to the announcement of any project, President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi always emphasizes on the need to achieve all the factors needed for the success of the project and having the human capacity to make it a success.”

Admiral Mameesh added: «The chosen site for the tunnels is in South Port Said, to create a traffic axis, starting from the city of Salloum to the city of Rafah in the east, by the International Coastal Road. The tunnel site was selected to be northern the city of Ismailia to link Salloum city, to connect the city of Salloum and the south-west of Al-Auja. The Engineering Corps of the Armed Forces contracted with 4 Egyptian companies to implement this big scale project. After the completion of the machine work the cables were connected and the tunnel entrances and electrical works were finished up. The first objective is to work as a team with one hand, wether it be the Engineering Corps, the Suez Canal Authority, Tunnel management Authority, or international companies that supervised the project. Egyptians are capable of challenging and implementing difficulties, and the Engineering Corps of the Armed Forces out their projects in less than the time that the put forward by other engineering offices. Egyptians have proved that they are capable of challenging all difficulties and implementing the impossible in the shortest possible time with distinct competencies. The world will soon see that Egyptians are ahead of the executive plans put down for project. We will share these experiences with different countries in order to contribute in major international projects with the hands and experiences of Egyptian and Egyptian companies. The size of the achievements in the project and the expertise of Egyptian engineers and workers enabled them to manufacture concrete walls while carrying out the works of the tunnel. The Egyptian engineer has become high experienced in implementations.”

Admiral Mohab Mameesh stated that the Authority has established a number of bridges which cross the Suez Canal with the potential of the companies of the Suez Canal Authority. The bridges of Al-Masrawy and Shahedeen were carried out by Ahmed Mansi and Abanoub Saber. Martyr Colonel Ahmed Manasseh’s Bridge in area number 6 has been opened as well as Martyr Solider Abanoub Saber’s Bridge in Al-Qanatara to serve all the users of the navigational course. All international standards for safety and security have been applied in the project, especially international standards regarding operation and tunnelling. Very harsh standards apply to project personnel. The tunnels project will ease the pressure on ferries and save time for citizens traveling to North Sinai, East and West of the canal. The tunnels will also provide safety, electricity, and security to the workers and engineers of the project. The necessary measures have been taken to insure all equipment and the lives of the workers as well as measure for the protection of workers from occupational hazards. Lifting tool have been checked, measures to protect from risks of soil rehabilitation and electricity has been taken, and lives and safety of all workers has been ensured.”

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