South Korean giant aims for Canal Istanbul mega project

A leading South Korean contractor is hoping to take a leading role in Turkey's massive Canal Istanbul project, a top company official told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.

During Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to South Korea last week, the canal project came up, said Seung Soo Lee, senior vice president at SK Engineering and Construction (SK E&G).

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said during the visit that his country will be happy to give support to the project, he added.

"We took part in Turkey's Eurasia Tunnel and Canakkale 1915 Bridge projects and we have experience in the country," said Seung.

He added that the Canal Istanbul is a huge project in terms of both importance and size.

"President Erdogan invited our leader to take part in the project and he accepted, so it fell to us," he said.

When details are available, the company wants to lead the project, he added.

The planned canal is meant to provide relief to shipping traffic between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, particularly oil tanker traffic passing through the Bosphorus.

The 45-kilometer (nearly 28 miles) canal, which will be built in Istanbul's Kucukcekmece-Sazlidere-Durusu corridor, is to boast a capacity of 160 vessels a day and is scheduled to be completed by 2023.

Ahmet Arslan, Turkey's transportation, maritime and communications minister, had previously said Turkey aims to finish all tender processes and groundbreaking this year.

Source: Anadolu Agency