After the Ever Given ship grounding incident in the Suez Canal had halted the global maritime trade for 6 days, the call for widening the canal grew in demand. And now the Suez Canal Authority has announced that the canal will be widened and deepened at the narrow stretch where the ship ran aground on March 23rd.
The Egyptian government has revealed that the canal would be widened by 40 metres in the area where the vessel was stuck.
As the ship remained stuck for 6 days and workers had been working day and night to refloat it, the public opinion on shipping had been shipping with a slew of social media posts and memes that spoke of the ship’s unfortunate fate.
At present, the ship has been anchored at the Great Bitter Lake outside the canal where the ship and the crew had been held ransom for compensation.
The SCA and the Japanese shipping company Shoe Kisen who owns the vessel have been in a legal dispute over the $916 million compensation claim. Earlier this week, the SCA had lowered the compensation claim to $600 million.
In the current stream of affairs, the government has proposed to widen the southern stretch of the canal by 40 metres on the east side and it will be made 2.5 deeper at the same end.
They have also thought of extending the second lane of the canal by 10 km. This lane have come into existence back in 2015. This will be useful for transiting more vessels across the canal as the double lane stretch gets extended by 82 km.
As many as 19000 ships have to use the canal every year for trade between Europe and Asia, which is 10% of the global trade.