Suez Canal considers expansion after mega-container ship grounding

The Suez Canal authorities are looking into expanding the southern part of the waterway. The enormous container ship Ever Given ran aground in that section a fortnight ago, causing a major blockage of ships along the important shipping route.

The chairman of the Suez Canal Authority says that the purchase of large cranes to unload containers from heights of up to 250 metres is also being considered. The container ship Ever Given was lying across the Egyptian waterway and was pulled free by salvagers over a week ago. In the meantime, the queue of ships at the Suez Canal has been completely resolved.

Also read: Suez Canal traffic jam caused by grounded ship Ever Given resolved

In 2014, the Dutch dredger and maritime services provider Boskalis, together with other dredging companies, was awarded a USD 1.5 billion contract for the widening and deepening of parts of the Suez Canal. It also involved the construction of a new fifty-kilometre waterway along the existing shipping lane so that ships could pass each other simultaneously. This work was completed in 2015. Boskalis subsidiary Smit Salvage was involved in salvaging the Ever Given.

Tanker Rumford

Incidentally, traffic in the Suez Canal was slightly delayed on Tuesday 6 April after an oil tanker suffered engine problems. Tugboats had to come to the rescue of the tanker Rumford. The engine problems have since passed and the ship is sailing again. The shipping traffic in the Suez Canal is back to normal.

Also read: Container ship Ever Given grounding: Could it happen again?

Source: ANP

Picture by the Suez Canal Authority.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.