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Ismailia, Egypt (15th May 2017) – As part of Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority’s (SCA) ambitious EUR 6.58 billion (USD 7.3 billion) New Suez Canal Project, after its involvement in the extension of the new Suez Canal that opened in record time last year, Petrojet – one of the Middle East’s largest integrated construction companies, is currently contributing to the building of six twin tube tunnels (four for cars and two for trains) beneath the Suez Canal. To support its materials handling needs, Petrojet turned to Cairo-based equipment provider Modern Builders Merchant Co. (MBM), of the Genie brand’s authorised distributors in Egypt, who recommended the use of two high-reach, heavy-lifting Genie® GTH™-4018 telehandlers. The machines were delivered this January with optional air-conditioning and a bespoke customer paint livery.


The challenges of a huge project

Constructed under the supervision of the Egyptian Armed Forces Engineering Authority (AFEA), the four 48-m (157.5-ft) deep, 10.8-m (35-ft) wide, 3.19-km (2-mi) long road tunnels will provide access to an estimated 45,000 cars and trucks per day. The rail tunnels are built at the same depth over a distance of 6.7 km (4 mi) and feature five ventilation shafts. Once they are completed, the tunnels will link the eastern and western banks of the Suez Canal from Egypt’s homeland cities of Port Said and Ismailia, to the Sinai Peninsula.


Working to a 2018 opening schedule in tough desert-like conditions, the project currently involves a wide variety of heavy machinery operating inside the tunnel tubes and around the tunnel entrances. As such, the job mandates sufficiently manoeuvrable, compact machines capable of handling materials efficiently at close quarters with other equipment

Powerful performance, compact dimensions

Offering a maximum lift height of 17.61 m (58 ft), a maximum forward reach of 13.36 m (43 ft 10 in) and a maximum lift capacity of 4,000 kg (8,817 lb), thanks to its unique combination of a class-leading 3.8m (12 ft 5 in) outside turning radius and the narrowest machine width in its category, the Genie GTH-4018 model is designed for tough work in challenging environments – even on busy and confined jobsites where space it tight. A 75 kW (100 hp) Stage IIIA (Tier 4) compliant turbo diesel Perkins engine delivering a maximum travel speed of 35 km/h (22 mph) provides the power to operate efficiently on challenging terrain.


A robust, reliable solution

“MBM has a longstanding relationship with Genie and a very successful track record with Petrojet regarding the provision and operation of Genie machines. With next year’s completion deadline just around the corner, at this stage of the project the stakes are high and the conditions tremendously tough,” says Mr. Abdul Salam Hammad, Director, Modern Builders Merchant Co. Mr. Hammad continues: “Despite the additional challenges caused by the violent desert storms that are common in the area in the early months of the year, followed by rapidly rising high temperatures, both Genie GTH-4018 units having performed reliably without interruption for the past four months. Our customer is satisfied with the results, and work is progressing according to schedule.”


Smooth, manoeuvrable and easy to operate

Familiarization training provided at the machines’ handover also provided the opportunity to meet Petrojet’s operators and visit the jobsite. It’s a well managed site,” says Mr. Ismail Hammad, Genie technical services engineer. “All operations are supervised by the army’s engineers who are sharp on respecting the highest health and safety standards. As far as the Genie GTH-4018 models are concerned, the operators said they found them easy to operate and manoeuvre. They have also found that they are smooth and comfortable to work with on this rough, hot, arid site.”


About the New Suez Canal Project

The ambitious EUR6.58 billion (USD 7.3 billion) New Suez Canal Project, also referred to as the Suez Canal Corridor Area Project, was launched by Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority in 2014. Its aim is to put Egypt on the steps of a new phase of economic growth in the upcoming period by continuing the conversion of the Suez Canal area to become an economical, logistical, and commercial centre supporting both national and world trade.


The expansion of the Suez Canal and the construction of six road and rail tunnels linking Port Said and Ismailia and the surrounding provinces with the Delta governorates to Sinai are part of the project. Since the Suez Canal was first inaugurated in 1869, after almost a century and a half’s service as a short-cut between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, phase 1 involved the deepening and widening of the existing 193 km (120 mi) waterway and the creation of a new 35.4-km (22-mi) lane branching off the main channel to cater for two-way ship traffic. The canal reopened in 2015. Work on the tunnels, estimated at EUR 3.36 billion, (USD 3.75 billion) started simultaneously with the excavation of the New Suez Canal. The tunnels are scheduled to open in 2018.


About Petrojet

With over 40 years of experience, a workforce of 26,000 employees, a modern fleet of construction equipment and using today’s latest state-of-the-art technology, Petrojet ranks among the largest full-service construction groups in Egypt, providing integrated services to oil, gas, and petrochemical industries and undertaking complex projects across the region. Petrojet’s activities cover the construction and installation of industrial plants, oil refineries, oil and gas production facilities, gas processing and liquefaction, onshore field development and onshore cross-country pipelines. In addition, Petrojet coating plants, marine yards and workshops avail providing a wide range of integrated services including pipeline coating and fabrication of platforms and static equipment. Further information can be found at

About Modern Builders Merchant Co.(MBM)

MBM prides itself in having developed longstanding relationships with leading players in the construction sector in Egypt and throughout the Gulf region. Adding to the supply of construction materials, MBM has been Authorised Distributor of Genie mobile access equipment since 2003. Operating nationwide with a team of 18 experienced and highly skilled and trained members of staff, the company specialises in the sale of the full Genie product range including personal and materials lifts, telescopic and articulating booms, scissors lifts and telehandlers. Backing the sales of Genie aerial access equipment, MBM’s offering also comprises the provision of parts, field support and technical and operator training that conforms to the highest health and safety standards. Further information about MBM can be found at:


GTH-4018 with outriggers ready for action.




Genie GTH-4018: Compact and easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces.

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