"The Great Egyptian Dream": An Update on the Suez Canal Expansion

With the project not even close to the halfway mark, the new Suez Canal project has 1000 personnel currently dredging the canal with a further 1000 professionals still yet to join. As the first ship is planned to navigate the newly dredged channel in August 2015, the dredging consortium are working around the clock to finish the project on time.

Since November, the dredging teams in Atlas’ Urk and Capelle offices have been working hard to provide personnel for the project. With their crewing agreement with Chevalier Floatels, Atlas are now fully manning Chevalier’s accommodation barge Rossini. The Rossini barge was built in 2010 and will accommodate a maximum of 110 personnel while stationed at the Suez. In November 2014, Chevalier Floatels and Atlas Professionals signed a crewing agreement which would allow Atlas to provide a complete Engineering and catering crew for the barge.

Atlas’ Riga and Odessa offices sourced and managed the crew for the Rossini barge. “The Odessa Office found 14 candidates for the barge,” says Account Manager Anna Poligova, “this ranged from Chief Engineer, Electrotechnical Officers to Campboss’ and Chief Cooks. Five members of the crew have worked with Atlas on previous jobs; all of the candidates will be travelling to Cairo on the 4th February and will work on the project for the next 2 months.”

As the project progresses, the dredging teams have started to supply a variety of professionals to the project. With a number of Atlas’ clients involved in the expansion, Atlas have also been asked to provide Dredging Superintendants, Technical Superintendants, Multicat and Cutter skippers and Engineers for the vessels, dredgers and barges that have travelled to the Suez.

Dredging 250 million cubic meters of sand to form the 72km waterway is a daunting prospect for the consortium, with a width of 240m and a depth of 24m the new route will be a third of the length of the current canal.

Urk and Capelle are continuing to supply personnel to the project and with new vacancies opening each week, the world’s biggest dredging project is well on its way to its completion date.