Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority on Tuesday 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 causing a long traffic jam with about 400 ships being delayed resulting in a global trade loss of $9 billion.
The proposed plan, outlined by the head of the Suez Canal Authority, Lt. Gen. Osama Rabe, includes widening the canal’s southernmost stretch by about 40 meters (yards) to the east, on the side of the Sinai Peninsula and deepening it 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 plan also includes a 10-kilometer-long extension of a second lane of the waterway that opened in 2015. That would bring the double-lane stretch of the canal to 82 kilometers, or 60 miles, allowing more vessels to pass through the canal. The expansion would take two years, Lt. Gen. Osama Rabe confirmed.
The announcement of the expansion of the Suez canal came amidst the news of efforts by countries like Japan to find an alternative to Suez canal to reduce over-dependence of shipping on the Suez canal.