A consortium consisting of Van Oord, Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V., NMDC (Abu Dhabi) and Jan de Nul (Belgium) has acquired a contract from the Suez Canal Authorities in connection with the expansion of the Suez Canal, which provides a vital shipping link between Europe and Asia. The total contract value amounts to USD 1.5 billion, with each partner entitled to an equal share of USD 375 million.
The ‘new’ Suez Canal will partially run in parallel to the current waterway and entail widening and deepening of existing parts thereof. The contract includes the construction of the parallel section of the canal with a length of approximately 50 kilometers to allow ships to simultaneously transit in two directions as well as the widening and deepening of a number of existing sections to a depth of 24 meters. The majority of the dredging activities for the canal expansion will be executed with 17 cutter suction dredgers. The project will commence in 2014 and is expected to be completed in 2015 (Van Oord).