After the official approval for expanding the Suez Canal last week, the Suez Canal Authorities have finally started expanding the canal.
The new project approved by Egypt’s President last week has drawn a well-structured plan to widen and deepen which is likely to be open for giant container ships by 2023.
The expansion plan comes at a time when the Suez Canal Blockage issue garnered by the grounding of the Ever Given ship back on March 23rd is quite rife. Although the ship has been refloated on 29th March, the ship and its crew have been held ransom for compensation of 916$ million since then. Even local courts have upheld this decision while the Japanese shipping company.
Shoe Kisen that owns the ship, has categorically refused to pay such a huge sum of money. The SCA has reduced the compensation claim to 600$ million in the hope of an out of court settlement but the owners think otherwise.
At present, dredgers have started working to extend the second lane of the Suez Canal. This will see a widened and deepened southern section of the canal, preventing such ship grounding and subsequent waterway blockage issues.
Work has started in the section where the container ship Ever Given had been stuck, revealed the SCA.
As part of this plan, the southern stretch of the canal will be extended by 40 metres onto the Sinai Peninsula. The canal has to be deepened by 6 feet to reach the 72 feet target from the current 66 feet depth. This deepening will be done in a 30 km long stretch.
The second lane of the canal will also be extended by 10km as part of the plan. This lane came into existence only recently, back in 2015. With this expansion, the second lane would be 82km, making it a good alternative for more ship transit.
The SCA has informed that the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sis has asked them to implement the plan and make a timetable to finish it as soon as possible.