MEED reported in April this year that the dredging of the famous waterway to 66 feet from 62 feet had stalled due to the high volumes of traffic on the canal.

The work had been due to be completed in 2007. In April, Suez Canal Authority (SCA) officials admitted that only 75 per cent of the work was complete, saying it would be completed in early 2009 (MEED 24:4:08).

An SCA official now says the work is on schedule to meet the 2009 deadline.

“The work is now about 83 per cent complete and will be finished late this year or most likely early next year,” he says.

Traffic levels are running at record highs on the canal and the SCA has effectively slowed down the dredging work to capitalise on the lucrative shipping boom.