Suez Canal might increase southern channel, chairman says By Reuters

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© Reuters. A ship is seen after sailing through the Suez Canal in Ismailia

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By Nadeen Ebrahim and Patrick Werr

ISMAILIA, Egypt (Reuters) – The Suez Canal Authority is considering expanding the southern section of the waterway where the container ship Ever Given has been stranded, the chairman said Tuesday.

Osama Rabie told Reuters in an interview that cranes could be procured that could potentially unload cargo at heights of up to 250 meters.

“Our procedures are solid, we just want to improve the service,” he said.

The 400-meter-long Ever Given was grounded diagonally across the southern section of the canal in strong winds on March 23. It got stuck for six days to prevent hundreds of ships from passing and severely affect global trade flows.

After the relocation, the ship was taken to a lake that separates two sections of the canal on which the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has carried out investigations.

Rabie said data from the ship’s clerks had been removed and turned over to a committee of inquiry, and the ship would resume once the procedures were completed.

“We’re talking about two or three more days, God willing. But we won’t need much time,” he said.

The SCA has announced that it will continue to take ships the size of Ever Given and strengthen its ability to deal with future problems.

“We’re going to try to get two more tugs with more than 200 tons of pulling power – 250, 280, depending on,” Rabie said.

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