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Suez Canal authority plans to widen canal to avoid event like 'The Ever Green'

News Agencies | Updated on: 1 June 2021, 10:02 IST

In an effort to avoid a repeat of the event like The Ever Given, a cargo ship which was struck in Egypt, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has announced that it had started dredging work to widen and deepen the southern part of the canal.

In March, world trade was thrown into chaos after The Ever Given, a container ship, ran aground in the Suez Canal in Egypt. It was stuck for over six days, disrupting global supply chains.

The 30-kilometer-long area will be widened by 40 meters (131 feet) to the east and deepened to 72 feet, up from 66 feet, according to the SCA, reported the CNN.

Plans also include extending the second lane near the Great Bitter Lake, which opened in 2015, by 10 kilometers (6 miles) -- allowing two-way traffic along an 82 kilometer (51 mile) stretch.

The work is intended for "maximizing the canal's efficiency and shortening the vessels' transit time, as well as raising the navigation safety," said a press release from the SCA.

The blockage of the Suez Canal led to paralyzing the crucial waterway. The damage to global trade can run into one billion US dollars, according to the canal authority. The ship was refloated on March 29 by a fleet of 15 tugboats.

Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities are demanding 550 million US dollars in compensation from the Japanese owner of a cargo ship. The Suez Canal Authority initially demanded about 920 million dollars in compensation.


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First published: 1 June 2021, 10:02 IST