Chennai, Dec. 17
SETHUSAMUDRAM Corporation Ltd (SCL) on Saturday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), Egypt, for cooperation in implementing the Rs 2,427-crore Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project (SSCP).
The SCL is a special purpose vehicle implementing the SSCP and SCA manages the Suez Canal, which links the Red Sea with the Mediterranean. By year-end, over 13,000 ships would have passed through the canal, according to an official of SCA.
Mr N.K. Raghupathy, Chairman and Managing Director, SCL, and Mr Hussein Abdel Rahman Helmy, Director, Dredging Department and Member of Board, Suez Canal Authority, signed the agreement in the presence of the Union Shipping Minister, Mr T.R. Baalu.
The agreement is an international cooperation to share views and avail of SCA's experience and technology. A similar agreement would also be signed with the Panama Canal Authority, said Mr Baalu.
According to a press release, the agreement would cover:
Later, talking to newspersons, Mr Baalu said the project would be completed on time or even earlier and the likely date of the canal's commissioning could be November 2008.
The MoU would be valid for five years, and could be renewed for a similar period by mutual agreement between the two authorities. There was no consultation fee paid to SCA, he said.
The SSCP envisages dredging a 167-km channel along the Palk Straits, the Palk Bay and Adam's Bridge between Sri Lanka and India to connect the Bay of Bengal and the Gulf of Mannar. This would enable ships to take a shorter route between the two countries instead of having to sail around Sri Lanka.