Egypt has completed the first trial run through the new Suez Canal prior to the opening of this new waterway next month.
As part of the test-run, which was monitored by helicopters and naval vessels, three cargo ships successfully passed through this 72km-long canal.
The cargo ships included a US vessel heading to Egypt’s Port Said from Saudi Arabia, a Danish ship sailing to the US from Singapore, and a Bahraini ship travelling to Italy from Saudi Arabia.
The new canal alongside the existing Suez Canal, which is scheduled to open on 6 August, is expected to boost trade along the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
On Egyptian state television, Suez Canal Authority chairman Mohab Mameesh announced the test run to be a success.
Mameesh said: "This is the first trial crossing but it will be followed by more trials.
"We are 99.2% done with everything. We should be completely done in two or three days."
Carried out by the country’s armed forces, the second canal is estimated to have cost about $8.5bn. Construction on the project started in August last year.
The project included 37km of dry digging and expansion, and deepening of the existing canal by 35km in order to help vessels to increase their movement speed.
It is estimated that the new canal will boost the country’s annual revenues to $13.5bn by 2023.
Meanwhile, Mameesh also added that the construction of another canal near the East Port Said Port on the Mediterranean Sea is expected to begin soon after the inauguration of the new Suez Canal.
The proposed project, which would see the construction of 9.5km-long route, is expected to cost around $60m.