The expenses for the Suez Canal project’s opening ceremony, which will take place on 6 August, have been collected through donations from several companies, a Suez Canal Authority official told Daily News Egypt.
The firms’ donations varied between $250,000 to $1m, according to the anonymous source. The ceremony was set to cost $30m, but was reduced. The new figure was not disclosed.
Some of the donators included Orascom Construction, Egyptian Steel, Ezz Steel and Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG). Banks who donated included the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Banque Misr, the Commercial International Bank (CIB), Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), Emirates NBD, the Arab African International Bank and leading investment bank EFG Hermes. Donations also came in from the food industries companies Coca-Cola and Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT).
The door for donations remains open, with other companies showing interest, the source said, adding that other donations are expected within the coming two weeks.
The new Suez Canal project was launched in August 2014 by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, referring to it as a national project. It is expected that a new 72km-long canal will be dug alongside the original, to be implemented over a year.