The owner and operator of the Suez Canal want to widen the southern part of the shipping route. The chairman of the state company announced this in a speech on television.
Earlier this year, the southern part of the Suez Canal was blocked for days after the container ship Ever Given got stuck transversely.
The 400-meter-long Ever Given got stuck at the stern and prow in the shallower sides of the Egyptian canal in March after stormy weather. It took almost a week before the container ship, with the help of the Dutch Smit Salvage, was towed afloat again.
The consequences for international freight transport were significant. Some 350 ships had to wait because of the blockade. Some ships diverted via the Cape of Good Hope. The Suez Canal is an important shipping route for international trade between Asia and Europe. Ships carry about $ 10 billion worth of goods through the canal every day.
Suez Canal Authority Chairman Osama Rabie announced the intended widening at an event in the presence of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Other projects were also announced, such as a new museum and a stadium.
Egypt already opened a “new” Suez Canal in 2015, which ran parallel to the old canal for a distance of 72 kilometres and was supposed to facilitate the passage of ships. Existing parts of the canal were also made deeper. But with this job, which cost about 7.2 billion euros, mainly the northern part was renovated.