The Suez Canal -- the West's short-cut to the Gulf oilfields and Far East, is Egypt's most reliable source of hard currency to earnings.
GV Suez Canal Authorities Port Said headquarters
SVs Fishing boats in Port Said (3 shots)
GV Ships in staging area waiting for passage through the canal (5 shots)
GV Floating dry dock (2 shots)
SV Ship waiting to go through canal (2 shots)
GV & SV Pilot boat (2 shots)
SV INTERIOR Pilot boat captain's cabin with captain
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Suez Canal -- the West's short-cut to the Gulf oilfields and Far East, is Egypt's most reliable source of hard currency to earnings. Nationalised in 1956, the international waterway is expected to earn the Egyptian government almost one billion dollars in foreign exchange this year. There are three convoys a day the canal, two Southbound, and one Northbound. The 12-hour-long journey is monitored by pilot boats. A 37 kilometre (23 mile) long by-pass near the mouth of the canal was completed in December 1980. This enabled Northbound tankers to reach the Mediterranean without passing through Port Said, and eased navigational delays. Last year the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), with financial help from Japanese companies, completed the first stage of a vast expansion project to enable oil-laden tankers of up to 150,000 tonnes to use the waterway. Although revenues increased by 37 per cent between 1980 and 1981, SCA experts are studying whether to go ahead with further plans to make the canal wider and deeper.