Egypt’s President Approves Suez Canal Widening Plan

Egypt has officially adopted a plan of widening and deepening the Suez after the country’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi officially approved the expansion plan.

The plan to widen the Suez Canal by 40 kilometres in the area where the Ever Given ship got grounded in March, halting global trade for 6 days, has been in the docks recently since the out-of-court settlement regarding the legal dispute isn’t in sight.

The SCA had asked for $916 million compensation for the loss of transit fee tariff and the cost of salvaging the ship but the owners refused to pay. Even after lowering the compensation claim to $600 million, there is no sign of an out of court settlement which has been the SCA’s primary goal. Meanwhile, the country has been losing its face value because of the legal dispute, with many Egyptian businessmen saying it will hurt the interests of the country.

Ever-Given-ICS-suez canal
Image Credits: ics-shipping.org

In such a condition, the decision to widen and deepen the canal is being regarded as a good strategic plan by Egypt to reclaim the lost ground

As part of the new plan, the canal will be widened by 40 metres between the Suez city red sea meeting point and the Great Bitter Lake. The same area will be deepened by 22metres.

The Panama flagged Ever Given ship had run aground in the Suez Canal on March 23rd and remained stuck there for 6 days until it was refloated with a flotilla of tugs on March 29th.

Since then the vessel has been lodged in the Great Bitter Lake outside the canal where the crew is being held for ransom, which has been upheld by a local court

The canal widening plan had been doing the rounds since last month and has been confirmed this week with the President’s approval.

Reference: al-monitor.com

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