The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has begun dredging work to widen a second lane to allow two-way traffic in a southern section of the canal near where the giant container ship Ever Given got stuck for six days in March.
The SCA announced this week that it planned to widen by 10 km a second lane of the canal that opened in 2015 to make it 82 km long, and would widen and deepen a single-lane section at the southern end of the canal.
Work had begun following Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s directives to “immediately start implementing the proposed development plan and set a timetable for its completion as soon as possible,” the SCA said on Saturday.
The grounding of the 440-meter-long container ship Ever Given in a southern section of the canal between March 23 and 29 delayed the passage of hundreds of ships through the waterway, disrupting global trade.
The Ever Given, still loaded with thousands of containers, is held up in Great Bitter Lake, between two sections of the canal, amid a dispute over a compensation claim by SCA against the ship’s Japanese owner, Shoei Kisen.