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Tuesday, 11 May 2021

The Suez Canal is back in “build” mode

The southern stretch of the Suez Canal (yes, the one where the Ever Given got stuck) will see deepening and expansion works, according to Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Osama Rabie (watch, runtime: 5:30). Rabie has presented President Abdel Fattah El Sisi with a plan to widen the stretch by 40 meters towards the east and deepen it to just under 29 meters from 20 meters today, Reuters reported. El Sisi has said he wants the work wrapped up within 24 months at most.

The expansion will take place right where the Ever Given got stuck in March. Over 400 ships were unable to pass through the Suez Canal two months ago after a 400-meter-long container ship ran aground and blocked the waterway. The traffic jam cost Egypt around USD 15 mn each day in foregone revenues and the Suez Canal Authority is now seeking some USD 600 mn in compensation.

The New Suez Canal will also get an extension: The canal that had been built in 2015 to allow two-directional traffic is also looking at a 10 km-extension, to reach a total length of 82 km, according to Reuters.

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