Dutch engineering consultancy Arcadis selected to build tunnel under Suez Canal

01 June 2018 Consultancy-me.com 2 min. read
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Having previously designed and built the Ismailia twin-tube road tunnel, Dutch engineering consultancy Arcadis has been selected to build another sub-Suez tunnel 90 km to the south of its prior project. The road tunnel will connect the west of Egypt with the Sinai desert.

Good infrastructure is the lifeblood of a thriving economy – getting people and goods around faster. At a basic level, if people and goods can’t get around quickly and efficiently, a nation’s economy is bound to suffer. Easy and cost-effective movement is an essential piece of economic growth – the industrial revolution that created the modern world, for example, required the advent of railways in order to occur.

The Suez Canal in Egypt, which connects the Mediterranean with Gulf of Suez, is one of the most important shipping lanes in the world – and an integral part of the quickest shipping route between Europe and Asia. The economically important canal was the focus of an intense expansion in 2014, in the hopes of stimulating the Egyptian economy. The government spent $8 billion to complete an ambitious project of widening sections of the canal in order to increase shipping volume and reduce wait times, contracting several European and US engineering firms to support the massive undertaking.

In the end, the Suez expansion was completed a year later in 2015, two years ahead of schedule. The Egyptian government expects the expanded canal to increase generated revenues from $5 billion in 2014 to $13.5 billion in 2023.Arcadis selected to build tunnel under Suez Canal in EgyptAs part of the mega-project, the government also contracted the building of a number of road tunnels below the canal in order to facilitate better transport links between the regions east and west of the waterway, promoting economic growth. Amsterdam-based design and engineering consultancy Arcadis was selected in 2015 to build a twin-tube road tunnel to the north of the city of Ismailia, slated for completion in 2018. The tunnel is 4.7 kilometre long and reaches a depth of 70 metres, and includes pump systems and a fixed firefighting system.

Because of its experience with the Ismailia tunnel, Arcadis has now been contracted to build a similar sub-Suez tunnel 90 km to the south. The twin-tube tunnel will also be 4.7 kilometres in length, although it will reach a shallower maximum depth of 40 metres.

“It is an honour to be able to continue working on such a project under the Suez Canal for the second time,” said Gert Kroon Arcadis General Manager, Netherlands.

Kroon believes that the engineering consultancy proved its expertise and value in the design and construction of the Ismailia road tunnel. “We've shown that all our different business units work well together,” he said. “There was enormous time pressure on the construction of the first tunnel and we quickly delivered a robust design.”

Globally, Arcadis has over 27,000 employees across 350 offices in 40 countries. In the Middle East, the consultancy has offices in Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE. It had revenues of €3.3 billion in 2016. The financial terms of the new contract were not disclosed.