Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, Hisham Ramez, has predicted there will be a “huge turnout” from the Egyptian people eager to buy investment certificates issued to finance the new Suez Canal project.

Ramez told a press conference in Cairo that Egyptians are selling dollars and transferring them to Egyptian currency and are eager to buy the certificates that will fund the $8bn project.

The canal project involves the construction of a 34-kilometre parallel channel to allow for more ships to pass through the waterway. The canal will be deepened and widened at certain points to ensure vessels can travel uninterrupted through the canal rather than having to berth for hours to allow opposing traffic to pass.

Proceeds of the certificates will be paid by Suez Canal revenue, which is forecast to grow $5.5bn to $13bn over the next four years following the expansion.

The certificates will be released in 10, 100 and 1,000 Egyptian pounds and will offer an interest rate of 12 per cent paid every three months.

The interest rate is considered highly attractive and above market rates offered on a number of other financial instruments in Egypt.

The National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire and Suez Canal Bank are authorised to issue the certificates.

Egypt’s government aims to finance the first phase of the project purely through domestically raised funding, but some analysts say Egypt may have to look at international sources of funding as well.