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Egypt prepares for the slowest option: remove the cargo from the ship crossed in the Suez Canal


The Ever Given, stuck in the Suez Canal
Efforts to refloat the Ever Given they are redoubled nearing the end of the first week of the closure of the Suez Canal. Two European tugs joined this Sunday the tasks that try to unblock the sea against the clock through which it crosses 10% of world trade and a million barrels of oil per day.

The Dutch Alp Guard and the Italian Carlo Magno reached kilometer 151 of the Canal, one of its narrowest areas, where since Tuesday it has been traversed. the Ever Given, a mass of 220,000 tons of Panamanian flag and Japanese property that made the route from China to Rotterdam.

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According to the head of the Suez Canal Authority, Osama Rabie, the dredgers have already removed some 27,000 cubic meters of sand and mud around the bow of the ship, achieving a depth of 18 meters, greater than initially planned.
The attempts to re-float it signed to date, however, have ended in fiasco.

On Saturday the operation made the ship “move 30 degrees from the left and right.” “It’s a good sign,” declared Rabie, reluctant to venture the end of the quagmire. According to Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the company that manages Ever Given, the bow was damaged and the water entered two tanks but, after extraction, the situation of the vessel is stable. Once the ship is dislodged, it will undergo an evaluation to determine if it is fit to navigate the track.

it is slow

The high tides scheduled for Sunday night, aided by the full moon, were one of the last hopes of managing the lost voyage of the Ever Given without having to resort to an alternative that would delay the resolution of the crisis for days, the partial removal of the cargo from the ship to lighten its weight and facilitate the refloating.

On Sunday afternoon, rescue teams were preparing to make up to two attempts to unblock the road. Since Tuesday, the priority options have been to tow the boat from both sides with tugs and extract sand and mud with dredges.

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In anticipation of the less flattering scenario, Egyptian President Abdelfatah al Sisi ordered the Canal Authority on Sunday to begin preparations to evacuate part of the 20,000 containers transported by the 400-meter-long ship and a size equivalent to four football stadiums. . “While the third scenario is on the table, we must prepare the equipment in case of such an eventuality,” said Al Sisi.

For such a situation, the Authority would have the help offered by the United States in an evacuation that would prolong the current paralysis and that would require a crane and equipment that have not yet been deployed at the scene of the incident. Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., the company that owns the vessel, is also studying the evacuation of the containers if attempts to re-float continue to fail.


The Arab country, which accumulates losses of between 12 and 14 million dollars a day due to the bolt and whose main source of foreign currency is in the Canal, is considering offering discounts to ships affected by the blockade. 352 ships crowd in various areas of the Canal and its vicinity, waiting for the reestablishment of the route that connects the Mediterranean with the Red Sea. At least a dozen of the stuck boats carry live cattle. Fearing that they would be out of supplies, Egypt sent three teams of veterinarians this Sunday.

The sudden closure of the Canal, which threatens to increase shipping costs and complicate the supply of oil and gas, and the lack of guarantees of a rapid outcome have forced shipping companies to change their route. The largest maritime transport company, Danish AP Moller-Maersk, has redirected the course of 15 of its vessels.

“We consider that the delay in navigating around the Cape of Good Hope in the extreme south of Africa is equivalent to the current delay in navigating to Suez and queuing “the company argued. Maersk has up to 27 ships in the Canal accesses, three stuck inside the Canal and two scheduled to arrive this Sunday.

Its main competitor, the Mediterranean Shipping Co., has also been forced to change the course of 11 vessels, which glide along the southern coast of the African continent. “We expect this incident to have a very significant impact on the movement of containerized goods, disrupting supply chains beyond the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the multinational admitted.

One of the main concerns is the reduction of the distribution of oil and gas from the Middle East in Europe. Precisely, in the event that the Canal takes a long time to reestablish its activity, Syria has begun to ration the supply of fuel.

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