At this headquarters in Cairo on Thursday (5 December), the Suez Canal Authority signed a contract with the Japanese Penta Ocean Construction Company for the deepening and widening of the Canal.
SV PAN Mashour leading head of Japanese delegation into conference room
CU Member of Japanese delegation with pictures of ship in canal in background
MV & CU PAN Both men seated (2 shots)
MV Both delegates having copies of agreement placed in front of them ZOOM INTO CU Mashour signing
MV ZOOM INTO CU Mizuno signing as newsmen look on (2 shots)
CU Flags PAN TO MV both men signing
Initials BB/1833 NPJ/DW/BB/1825
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Background: At this headquarters in Cairo on Thursday (5 December), the Suez Canal Authority signed a contract with the Japanese Penta Ocean Construction Company for the deepening and widening of the Canal. This will allow much bigger ships than before to use the Canal.
It is the first stage of an ambitious programme for developing the hundred mile (160 kilometre) waterway. The work that the Japanese company will carry out is expected to cost 140 million dollars (about 66 million pounds sterling), and should be completed within 42 months. The work is expected to start early next year.
The day before (Wednesday) the World Bank Organisation had announced that it would be making a 50 million dollar (21,500,000 pounds sterling) loan to Egypt for work on clearing and reopening the Suez Canal. The loan will be repaid over the next 20 years with an eight per cent interest charge.
The World Bank announcement noted that the Kuwait Fund, set up by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, had already provided 126 million dollars (54 million pounds sterling) towards the project which is expected to be completed by 1978.
Clearance work along the Canal is already being carried out by the Egyptian, French, British, Soviet, and United States navies, and ships should be able to use the canal once again by early next year.