Egypt plans Suez Canal expansion after grounding ship – fr

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Egypt plans Suez Canal expansion after grounding ship – fr


CAIRO – Egypt on Tuesday announced plans to widen and deepen the southern part of the Suez Canal where a large ship ran aground and closed the crucial waterway in March.

The head of the Suez Canal Authority, Lt. Gen. Osama Rabie, announced the details of the plan at a televised ceremony in the town of Ismailia, located on the canal. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi and senior government officials attended the ceremony.

The plan includes widening the southernmost section of the canal by about 40 meters (yards) to the east, on the Sinai Peninsula side, Rabie said. This segment would also be deepened to 72 feet, from the current 66 feet depth. This part of the canal is 30 kilometers (18 miles) long.

The plan also includes a 10-kilometer-long extension of a second lane of the waterway that opened in 2015. This would bring the dual-track stretch of the canal to 82 kilometers, or 60 miles, allowing more ships to cross. the canal. .

The Ever Given, a Panamanian-flagged Japanese vessel, ran aground in the single-track section of the canal on March 23 before being pulled out six days later after a massive rescue effort by a flotilla of tugs.

The ship is still being held in the Great Bitter Lake of the canal amid a financial dispute between its owners and the Suez Canal Authority.

The six-day blockade disrupted global shipping. Some ships were forced to take the long alternate route around the Cape of Good Hope to the southern tip of Africa, necessitating additional fuel and other costs. Hundreds of other ships were waiting there for the blockage to end.

About 10% of world trade passes through the channel, a key source of foreign exchange to Egypt. Some 19,000 ships crossed the canal last year, according to official figures.

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