Earlier this week, the Suez Canal Authority announced its plans to widen and deepen the southern part of the Suez Canal where a mega containership Ever Given lost control in the midst of a dust storm and high winds and became wedged across the Suez canal.
Dredging work to extend a second lane of the Suez Canal has begun. This will allow for two-way traffic in the southern section of the canal where the Ever Given was stuck for almost a week causing a long traffic jam with about 400 ships being delayed resulting in a global trade loss of $9 billion.
As per the plan, the canal’s southernmost stretch will be widened by about 40 meters to the east, on the side of the Sinai Peninsula and will be deepened to 72 feet, from the current 66 feet in depth. This part of the canal which will be expanded is 30 kilometers (18 miles) long.
The widened and deepened southern section of the vital waterway will be opened to the giant container ships by 2023.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi gave directions “to immediately start implementing the proposed development plan and put in place a timetable for completion as soon as possible”, the authority said on Saturday.
The Ever Given is still detained by the Egyptian authorities at the Great Bitter Lake as the owners and ship builder of the gigantic container ship are still in negotiations with the Egyptian government.