Japan is taking an active role in the mammoth task of widening and deepening Egypt's Suez Canal.
GV Dredger at work on canal (2 shots)
LV Second dredger at work ZOOM BACK TO first dredger with equipment in water
CU Water outlet on dredger TILT UP TO superstructure of dredger
SV japanese worker operating controls (2 shots)
CU Drilling pipe in water
GV PAN AROUND Pipes carrying sand from canal to bank
Initials BB/1600 AB/JB/BB/1650
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Japan is taking an active role in the mammoth task of widening and deepening Egypt's Suez Canal.
The Suez Canal Development Project is now run by the Japanese company, Penta Ocean Company. Since January the company's dredgers have been working near the south entrance of the canal at Port Tawfik scooping out thousands of tons of rock and earth. They will go down to 53 feet in depth and cut to 67 feet in width.
The work is being done so tankers over 150,000 tons can get through.
It will take seven years to compete and is expected to cost 600 million pounds sterling (1,200 million dollars). Half of the contract price will be paid in cash and the Japanese government has given Egypt a low interest 70 million pound (140 million dollar) loan to assist the project.
Since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, the 101 mile canal has been little more than a fortified ditch. Although the canal is now open again many predict that it will newer again be as important as it was prior to the 1967 war.
Bur Egypt's President Anwar Sadat is not daunted by pessimists and now that both sides of the canal are again under Egyptian control is determined to develop it to such an extent that Egypt expects to make an estimated 225 million pounds (450 million dollars) in revenue from it annually.
SYNOPSIS: Port Tawfik near the south entrance of the Suez Canal, where Japanese dredgers are busy working on a mammoth project to deepen and widen the canal. The crews and equipment arrived in January and since then have extracted thousands of tons of rock and sand from the canal bed.
Now both banks of the canal are again in Egyptian hands President Anwar Sadat is determined to improve the 101 mile long waterway and make it suitable for tankers over 150,000 tons to get through.
The canal is at present 38 feet deep but will go down 53 when it is finished. It will be widened to 67 feet.
It's expected the project will take seven years to complete and will cost six hundred million pounds. Egypt expects to pay at least half the contract in cash. The Japanese government has made a seventy million pound loan to Egypt to help the project.
The Suez Canal Development Project is now being run by the Japanese company, Penta Ocean Company, which owns the dredgers now at work.