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Wednesday, 7 April 2021

We could be seeing expansion work done on the Suez Canal

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) is considering an expansion of the Southern section of the waterway where MV Ever Given became lodged late last month, SCA chairman Osama Rabie told Reuters. Acquiring new cranes that could vertically offload cargo from up to 52 metres is also on the authority’s radar, to help mitigate any future incidents in the canal. “Our procedures are sound, we are just aiming to improve the service” Rabie said.

About face? The construction work could move forward despite Rabie’s indication last week that the undertaking would not be economically feasible.

The Ever Given should be out of here within two to three days, Rabie said, following the conclusion of the investigation. The ship is currently anchored in the Great Bitter Lake, and has handed over data from its recorders to the investigation team.

Egypt wants to reach a financial settlement for the blockage out of court and has been in negotiations with the owners of the vessel “for nearly a week,” Rabie told the Associated Press. “Bringing the case before a court would be more harmful to the firm than settling,” he noted. The SCA head said last week that Egypt could look to claim some USD 1 bn in damages from ins. companies, which includes foregone revenues of around USD 15 mn for each day the ship blocked the canal, as well as damages to the waterway from dredging the bank’s embankment to free the ship.

A minor incident in the waterway put eyes on the canal again yesterday after an oil tanker briefly experienced engine failure during its passing, causing a 10 minute delay to traffic, according to an SCA statement. The 62k tonne vessel was escorted by tugboats Tim Hope and Mosaed 3 through the canal and has since addressed the technical malfunction.

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