The 'Istanbul' canal project is of great importance for all countries using the Turkish straits, Turkish Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoglu said in an exclusive interview with Trend.
According to the minister, Turkey is creating a modern transport infrastructure in order to turn a historic opportunity into a benefit.
According to the minister, when planning global projects in all areas of transport, the needs of the region and the development of world trade are primarily taken into account.
From this point of view, the earliest possible implementation of the Istanbul Canal construction project is of strategic importance, Karaismailoglu noted.
“At the time of the signing of the Montreux Convention, which regulates the passage of ships through the Istanbul straits, about 3,000 ships passed through them annually. Due to the growing importance of shipping in the Black Sea basin in world trade and economic activity, more than 50,000 ships a year pass through the Bosphorus strait. We expect that this figure will reach 86,000 in the coming decades. On the other hand, the increase in the number of ships, including tankers carrying hazardous and toxic substances, is a serious source of threat to Istanbul. All this suggests that there is a serious need for the construction of the Istanbul Canal,” Karaismailoglu stressed.
According to the minister, this channel will reduce the load on other straits, which will reduce the waiting time for ships and their congestion.
He said that intelligent navigation systems will be used for navigation in the new channel, which will enable ships to pass through it quickly and without any problems.
The length of the Istanbul Canal, which will be located on the Kucukcekmece-Durusu transport corridor, will be 45 kilometers, at least 275 meters wide and about 21 meters deep, the Turkish minister noted.
“After completion of its construction, oil tankers with a length of 275 meters and a width of 48 meters, as well as container ships with a length of 350 meters and a width of 49 meters, will be able to pass through it. Thanks to the Istanbul canal, Turkey will become a leader in the Black Sea, will play a more active role in world trade and thus gain a greater share in international logistics corridors,” Karaismailoglu said.
The minister added that a tender for the construction of the canal will soon be announced, after which construction work will begin.
“In June 2021, we will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the first bridge to be built on the Istanbul canal,” he said.
As Karaismailoglu said, the new canal to the west of Istanbul will pass through the territory of Kucukcekmece, Sazlidere and Durusu districts.
It is assumed that the channel's throughput capacity will be about 160 ships per day, including tankers with a deadweight of up to 300,000 tons, he said.
“It is planned to build 10 bridges along the route of the new waterway,” the minister noted.
“About 40,000-42,000 ships are currently sailing through the Bosphorus strait, which has an admissible capacity of 25,000 ships per year. In order to pass through the Bosphorus, ships have to wait about a week,” the Turkish official said.
The project to build a new sea artery bypassing the Bosphorus will be the largest infrastructure initiative in Turkish history, Karaismailoglu added.
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