Saudi Arabia is considering plans to build a 950-km water canal in Yemen to bypass the Iran-controlled Strait of Hormuz, Iran’s semi-official state news agency Fars claimed.
The news agency reported that Sa’ad Ibn Omar, the head of Arab Studies Center in Riyadh, has revealed that studies are underway on the construction of the canal, which would start from a part of Saudi Arabia’s water border in Khour al-Adid area between the UAE and Qatar, and stretch 950 km to the Arabian Sea.
He reportedly added that 630 km of the waterway would be built in Saudi Arabia, while the remaining 320 km of it would be in Yemen with a width of 150 m and depth of 25 m.
The proposed canal, which would cost US$80 bn, is supposed to halve the distance to be sailed by ships towards the Arabian Sea.
The country’s coasts are not adjacent to the Arabian Sea, while Yemen’s Hadhramaut, al-Shabvah and al-Mohrah coasts have access to it.
Omar has reportedly said that the canal, which would be named Salman after Saudi King Salman, would replace the Strait of Hormuz in exporting the oil produced by Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait to other world states.
According to Fars, he added that Saudi Arabia has considered two other countries for the canal path to replace Yemen if necessary, one of which is Oman.
Omar has reportedly admitted that Saudi Arabia has to face some problems in building the canal, including the fact that the height of lands in certain areas of Yemen or Oman is 700 m above the sea level, while Saudi Arabia’s highest level above the sea is 300 m.