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Traffic along Suez Canal still blocked; bigger equipment on way to dislodge aground ship: Source
Published in Ahram Online on 25 - 03 - 2021

Traffic along the Egyptian Suez Canal is still blocked for the third day in a row by the giant Ever Given cargo ship grounding at the waterway's 151 Kilometre mark.
The cargo ship ran aground on Tuesday morning due to low visibility and poor navigation believed to be caused by a strong sandstorm and 40-knot winds.
Salvage and refloating operations that started in the early hours of Wednesday were suspended overnight over the tide, a source in the Canal told Ahram Online.
The source added that the work will be re-launched this morning, with bigger equipment expected to arrive later on the day to help dislodge the stranded ship.
Eight giant tug boats have been attempting to re-direct the vessel, which is 400 metres long, 59 metres wide and can carry up to 224,000 tons.
The ship, sailing under a Panama flag, was en route to Rotterdam in the Netherlands lodged sideways, according to the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), the body that oversees the international trade route.
Expert at Norway-based quality assurance company DNV GL Ashraf Belal told Ahram Online that the operations to release the giant cargo ship "may take several days."
After the vessel is freed, it will likely be towed to Suez city for technical assessment before it is allowed to complete its trip, Belal predicted.
The stranded ship delayed the passage of ships including tankers carrying oil, reportedly causing oil prices to increase by around 5 percent.
CNN cited an official as saying that the number of ships congesting behind the vessel could reach 100 and will increase over time.
About 12 percent of world trade passes through the Suez Canal, which is the fastest water artery between Europe and Asia.
The canal is a main source of foreign currency for Egypt, bringing in $5.6 billion in revenues in 2020.


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