Sci-tech

Egypt's Suez Canal blocked by huge container ship

Egypt's Suez Canal blocked by huge container ship”

EGYPT'S SUEZ CANAL is now blocked to all vessels after a mega container ship travelling to the Netherlands turned sideways inside the waterway earlier today. It was identified as the Ever Given and left Egypt's Suez Port (Port Tawfiq) late Monday night after spending almost 24 hours there.

But not long into its journey it stalled near Ma'diyah, just a few kilometers to the north.

The website, Vessel Finder, shows the Ever Given surrounded by at least five tug boats.

Ship tracking data showed the Ever Given still in the same position as of about 2 a.m. Wednesday in Cairo.

Around 10 per cent of the world's trade flows through the waterway and it remains one of Egypt's top foreign currency earners. The canal can take fully-laden Suezmax vessels that carry about 1 million barrels and bigger Very Large Crude Carriers, as long as they transfer some cargo out of the vessel before transiting.

Julianne Cona, who was aboard the Maersk Denver directly behind the Ever Given, shared an image of the vessel on Instagram.

The blockage caused a pileup of at least 100 vessels seeking to transit between the Red Sea and Mediterranean, according to ship brokers and mapping data compiled by Bloomberg.

Graphic shows the build up of traffic in the Suez Canal Egypt

"Ship in front of us ran aground while going through the canal and is now stuck sideways", she wrote on Instagram.

The Ever Given (owned by the company Evergreen) is jammed in the Suez Canal.

It has been a boon for Egypt's struggling economy in recent years, with the country earning $5.61 billion in revenues from the canal in 2020.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi unveiled plans in 2015 for an expansion created to reduce waiting times and double the number of ships using the canal daily by 2023.

In February, Sisi ordered his cabinet to adopt a "flexible marketing policy" for the canal in order to cope with the economic downturn caused by Covid-19.

Buyers in Europe and the U.S. may now look to other regions, including the U.S. Gulf, North Sea, Russia and West Africa, according to shipbrokers.

On a daily basis, about 600,000 barrels of crude or less flow from the Middle East to Europe and the US via the canal, while volumes from the Atlantic Basin to Asia total about 850,000 barrels a day, according to Anoop Singh, head of East of Suez tanker research at Braemar ACM Shipbroking Pte. "Every day the canal is closed. container ships and tankers are not delivering food, fuel and manufactured goods to Europe and goods are not being exported from Europe to the Far East".

More news: Thousands evacuated due to New South Wales flooding



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