Controversial Suez canal expansion contract signed

(Both ENDS, Amsterdam, 23 October 2014) On 18 October it was reported that the Egyptian authorities signed a contract with an international consortium of dredging companies to expand the Suez canal. The consortium includes the two main Dutch dredging companies: Royal Boskalis Westminster and Van Oord, as well as the Jan de Nul Group from Belgium and the National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) of Abu Dhabi. The total contract values an amount of US$ 1.5 billion. ECA-cover by Atradius DSB is foreseen as part of the deal. The CEO of Boskalis – Mr. Berdowski – expressed confidence that this should not be a problem. There are serious concerns for questioning whether this project should be eligible for export credit cover from Atradius DSB. The UK's Guardian reported in September that thousands of people have already been evicted for this project without compensation, while a total of 5.000 houses would be under threat of eviction. Evicted villagers have simply been told that they had no right to live in the area, and some persons who protested the army making this claim have already been arrested. Also, major concerns have already been raised on environmental impacts such as groundwater problems due to the absence of necessary research that should precede implementation.

Read the full Both Ends statement here.