Egypt plans to build a new Suez Canal along the existing, on a project with a multimillion-dollar investment that seeks to promote global trade through a more rapid transport route between Europe and Asia and, while, increase the income of African country. For if anyone is a bit clueless on geography, this is the way that allows the passage of the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, not go all the way to Africa (from Galicia we would save a 3000 miles of road).
The first sea that connected the Mediterranean and Red Seas ordered to build the Pharaohs. The Persians and later Ptolemaic kings were responsible for renewing the waterway. The channel was blinded with sand under the dominion of the Arabs in the ninth century. It was Napoleon who sent develop, during his stay in Egypt, a new project. An error was to blame for not were to be performed. Believed to have constructed a channel with large locks, because the level of the Red Sea was almost 10 feet above the Mediterranean Sea. It was discovered too late that there had been a miscalculation: the height difference was only 80 cm. England breathed. A Suez Canal under French control would endanger British predominance in India. And when 1847 he returned to work on the canal project, England made every effort to prevent its realization. However, all their efforts had not, eventually, any successful.
The 30 November 1854, thanks to the friendship he had in childhood Said (that time viceroy of Egypt), Ferdinand de Lesseps (remember, which failed in the Panama Canal) signed a concession with the Egyptian government to dig the canal.
Ferdinand de Lesseps (which incidentally, He married twice and had 11 children) managed to convince the Viceroy stating the following:
- The channel would tend to preserve and defend the Ottoman Empire, it would force the powers to support Turkey as guarantor of its neutrality.
- Although it was a difficult undertaking, there was nothing in it that could not be overcome with modern technical methods.
- If fees were to be maintained at a level proportionate to the likely revenue, the business was quite profitable.
- It is a work of such grandeur that would last through the years.
- The pilgrimage to Mecca would always provided for the construction of the canal.
- I would give a big boost to the long-range navigation.
- On the route Cape of Good Hope, the passage of vessels would rise to about six million tons. If only half of this trade passed through the Red Sea, save this trade 150 million francs a year.
- The Suez Canal would be easier to do than Panama, I was already in preparation.
- The Suez Canal project, would be supported by all countries, recognizing its importance to, would have serious objections.
In 1858, Private Company Universal Company of the Suez, that was part of the Fernando de Lessesps, was responsible for getting the money to build and exploit.
The 29 December 1863 Egyptians managed to open the first part of what today is the Suez Canal, a route navigation is currently 163 kilometers and connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea.
The Suez Canal, extending from Port Said (the Mediterranean), and concludes on the Red Sea, at Port Tawfiq (near the city of Suez), waterway is it possible to switch directly between the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Gulf of Suez, without skirting the African continent as did the ships two centuries ago when they wanted to go from Europe to Asia.
The Suez Canal is located in a strategic area and is the longest canal, far, which can be extended, and its depth increased, when necessary.
This work has 163 km in width. The channel, takes a path that approximates a straight line to Lake Timsha. From there a cut leads to the Bitter Lakes (Bitters) and a final section reaches the Gulf of Suez. Due to the narrowness of the same, much of their 163 kilometers have one direction, but no dead zones (wider) for ships crossing.
But back for a moment to the title of the news this week, Who will be "Eduardo Saavedra"? The mystery revealed:
From the beginning of construction of the Suez Canal faced various problems related to vessel traffic, thus increasing the size of them was that they were insufficient various extensions quickly (just remember the problems faced by the Berengaria frigate to cross the Channel and in 1869). When the Suez Canal opened its depth was 8 mts, 22 meters wide at the bottom and 60-90 mts on the surface. To solve the problem of traffic in both directions had to build "parking" each 5 from 6 miles (boats had to stop there and let those oncoming) because the friction between the ships blocked the long Canal, addition to the narrow Canal provoked more than 3.000 stranded between 1870 and 1884. This situation forced the Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez to carry out a program of continuous improvement (width and depth extensions of 1908, 1912, 1939, and construction of a diversion channel on the north stretch 1948) to the navigation conditions of the Canal were adapting to increased traffic, and increased tonnage of vessels thus increasing the depth of the same, it has continued to be made until today.
The following figure shows how it was increasing the dredging of sand over the years.
The Universal Company and the Advisory Committee gave way after the nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956 the Egyptian administration (Nasser el Plan funded by World Bank) that eventually created the Suez Canal Authority. Present day, after the enlargement in 2009, the Suez Canal has an amplitude of between 300 and 365 mts. and allows a maximum draft of 20 mts. and due to the construction of the Liberty Bridge, a maximum height of 68 mts. (Suezmax category called).
But good, And who was "Eduardo Saavedra"? For he was a son of an engineer and the person Coruñés's relationship was with the construction of the canal. Eduardo Saavedra (1829-1912) It was the Spanish of his time had more to do with the subject of the Suez Canal. He was present at the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 invited by the Viceroy of Egypt as part of the official Spanish delegation as Director General of Public Works and Trade. Later, from 1884 up 1906 he was part of the International Advisory Committee of the Suez Canal. However, Saavedra, Spanish was not the first linked to the Suez Canal since before there were others who worked on the construction of the Canal. Among these we can highlight the Cipriano According Montesino (1817-1901) appointed as a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences to form part of the International Technical Committee for the Study and Construction of Canal created in 1855. His work “Breaking the Isthmus of Suez” was published in 1857, 2 years before the start of construction. Another highlight was Nemesio Artola Spanish Erroizenea, close associate of Lesseps, who participated from the beginning in the works and became responsible for personnel and machinery. I acknowledge their work in “Biography Suez Canal”, published subsequently in 1969 on the centenary of the construction of the Canal.
Despite the efforts of the United Nations to ensure the free passage of Israeli ships through the canal, Egypt banned their way through this sea route several times. The last when the channel was closed during the Arab - Israeli war in 1967 after which he was part of the border between the part of the Sinai Peninsula occupied by Egypt and occupied by Israel. Following the closure of the channel, Egypt suffered great loss of tax revenue, but friendly Arab nations agreed to subsidize the Egyptian economy with similar contributions to channel revenue.
After the canal was closed, many ships were built large (supertankers) for international trade.
Despite all the disadvantages, the 5 June 1975 the canal was reopened and since then it has been remodeled and its dimensions have changed according to the needs (1976 – 1980).
Present day, near 20.000 ships pass through its waters each year, with loads between 300 and 400 million tons. This channel also has a great importance because there is oil in the Persian Gulf (very close by). The transfer of fuel to the east of Europe is through Suez Canal.
The new project will create a new Suez Canal Parallel to the current, with length 72 kilometers. The project to dig tunnels and build will cost more than 8.400 million, of which about 4.000 million will be allocated only to the excavation, to make a total of 25 companies. The project may need 35 kilometers “Dry excavation” and 37 kilometers would be of “expansion and depth”, indicating that the current Suez Canal-from 163 kilometer- could be extended as part of this work.
The Suez Canal provides the country an annual income of about 5.000 million, a major source of foreign currency for Egypt, which has seen tourism has plunged and foreign investment in recent years. Thus, to enhance trade through this route and attract more cargo and generate more revenue, the country has had different plans with the objective of creating an area of 76.000 square kilometers along the Suez Canal.
The work will favor the reduction of the waiting time of ships from eleven to a maximum of three hours. And it is possible that the channel will be able to pass through it 96 vessels rather than the 49 current.
The whole history of the channel that have told can be seen, expand and listen on this beautiful story: