Plans under way to expand Suez Canal
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JOHANNESBURG - The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has announced plans to deepen and widen the southern part of the canal where the Ever Given ship became stuck and choked the waterway in March, the Associated Press reported.
Head of the SCA Osama Rabie announced details of the plan in a televised ceremony in the canal’s city of Ismailia on Tuesday, reported AP.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and top government brass also attended the ceremony.
News website Offshore Energy reported on Wednesday that El-Sisi approved the plans to extend the canal.
Rabie added that the new project would improve the ability of the guide (SCA) and the captain of any ship to navigate inside the canal.
The plan includes widening the canal’s southernmost stretch by about 40m to the east, on the side of the Sinai Peninsula, Offshore Energy wrote.
The area would also be deepened to 72 feet (22m) from the current depth of 66 feet (20m).
Meanwhile, Marine Online News reported on Monday that the SCA had offered to lower the claim amount against the Ever Given’s insurers for the recent blockage from US$900 million to US$600 million.
According to several media reports, this amount was to cover salvage costs, as well as the loss of reputation.
However, the ship's insurers, the UK Club, rejected the authority's new offer, stating that it was too high and unsupported, according to news outlet UNILAD.
The 224,000-ton, 400m megaship Ever Given became jammed in the Suez Canal on March 23 amid high winds and a sandstorm. It was en route from China to the Netherlands, wrote Sputnik.