On Thursday August, 6 2015, the consortium Dredging International (75%) and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company (25%) will participate in the opening festivities of the modernised Suez Canal in Egypt. Thanks to the widening and deepening of the canal, the waiting time on the navigation route has been halved. It is the fourth time since WWII that dredging and environmental company DEME contributes to the optimization of this major artery of the Egyptian economy.
The new Suez Canal has been completed in record time thanks to several consortia from the global dredging scene. In just 9 months, the 193-kilometre-long canal has been extended with a parallel waterway and deepened entirely over a length of 70 kilometres, which has reduced the 14-hour waiting time by half. This is an important asset for the Egyptian economy, aimed at generating new shipping activity and attracting new industrial activities.
In October 2014, the DEME consortium was awarded lot 6 with a contract value amounting to 540 million US dollars (421.3 million EUR). The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) hence commissioned the realisation of an additional 250-metre-wide, 24-metre-deep, and 29.5-kilometre-long fairway through the Great Bitter Lake. The access channels to the lake have been widened to 140 metres.
For the realisation of this project, DEME gathered a rarely seen fleet of as many as 4 cutter suction dredgers, 6 suction hopper dredgers and 42 auxiliary vessels. The mobilisation and execution of the contract were carried out within a strict schedule and faced important logistical challenges such as the accommodation for 950 staff members and the supply of 20 kilometres of pipelines, cranes, generators, spare parts, etc. As much as 40 million m3 were dredged in
Alain Bernard, CEO DEME Group: “The Suez project was an exceptional assignment on different levels. Despite the important organisational and logistical challenges, the contract has been brought to an end within the time frame and budget that were set. This was only possible thanks to a strong team of specialists who have shown remarkable flexibility. As a result, the Suez project forms another appealing advertisement for the DEME Group”.
A DEME delegation attended the inauguration festivities on August 6, 2015 in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Kris Peeters.
The Belgian dredging, hydraulic engineering and environmental group DEME has earned itself a prominent position
on the world market in a few highly specialist and complex hydraulic disciplines. Having its core-business in
dredging operations and land reclamation, the group diversified into hydraulic projects at sea, services to oil and gas
companies, the installation of offshore wind farms, environmental activities such as soil remediation and sediment
recycling, and revalidation of brownfields and wreck clearance.
Its multi-disciplinary know-how and experience, project synergies and integrated business structure allowed DEME
to grow into a global solutions provider. The Group owns one of the most modern, high-tech and versatile fleets for
dredging and hydraulic engineering activities. DEME employs 4,600 people. In 2014 the Group realised a turnover
of EUR 2.58 billion.