Suez Canal authority turns to Wallingford company to max maritime capability

Suez Canal

An Oxfordshire civil engineering and specialist environmental hydraulics company has secured a major contract with The Suez Canal Authority (SCA)

The SCA, the state-owned authority which owns, operates and maintains the Suez Canal, has asked HR Wallingford, based at Howbery Park in Oxfordshire, for support in its continual quest to maximise the potential of this crucial maritime route.

HR Wallingford is to supply modelling systems to the SCA, which will help it to further develop the canal, ports and coastline, keeping it abreast with the growth in shipping sizes, and maintaining a competitive edge.

HR Wallingford Meshing the canal and approachesHR Wallingford is to generate a numerical hydraulic model for the entire canal system, which is one of the world’s most heavily used shipping lanes, transited by 18,000 vessels in 2019. The independent engineering organisation will also supply a bespoke state-of-the-art wave generation system for the flume in SCA’s research centre, which will be used for studies requiring a physical model.

HR Wallingford’s Senior Engineer Giulia Sforzi said: “Modelling such an iconic shipping route, and supplying a wave generation system, is a great honour for us. We believe that our leading-edge tools and models will be of great benefit in keeping this important route operating at its full potential.”

HR Wallingford’s model will be the most comprehensive that has ever been created of the canal. It will incorporate current flows, waves, and sediment transport, and cover neighbouring coastal areas and ports, as well as the canal itself. To create the model, the HR Wallingford team will use the open source TELEMAC suite. This offers the major advantage of allowing the SCA to make its own modifications and updates in the future, if required. As well as preparing the model, the contract also covers HR Wallingford training the SCA in its use and installing the software at its research centre in Egypt.

HR Wallingford’s wavemaker and adjustable beach for the SCA’s flumeHR Wallingford’s wave generation system is also destined to be installed in the Suez Canal Research Centre, as a permanent part of its existing research flume. To create the bespoke single paddle flume wave generation system, the team will first design the equipment to fit within the existing structure using Solidworks design software, drawing on their extensive experience of constructing wave generation systems for a wide range of global customers.

The contract also includes installation together with the experienced HR Wallingford team commissioning the equipment on site and the training of staff in its use and maintenance.

George Safwat, SCA spokesperson said: “We have worked on various development projects since digging the Suez Canal 150 years ago to keep abreast with evolutions in the shipping sector, in addition to maximising the Canal’s competitive advantages.

“We aim to maintain the Canal’s position as one of the most significant maritime routes in the world, and we wish to have the best research facilities to back this, which is why we have awarded this contract to HR Wallingford. The Suez Canal is very important for the Egyptian people and our economy.”

For this project, HR Wallingford has partnered with an Egyptian firm, Noor Scientific and Trade, which is acting as in country exclusive representative. Noor Scientific and Trade strictly followed up the contracting procedure and offered HR Wallingford excellent support to win the project. Noor Scientific and Trade will assist with the equipment installation and logistics.