Suez Canal Being Widened, Will it Thwart Another Blockage?

Story Highlights
  • SCA plans to widen and deepen the southern part of the canal
  • An endeavour to prevent such incidents in future
  • The canal's strategic position has a paramount influence on global trade

World: The mayhem caused by Ever Given in March stalled the world trade for almost 6 days. The cargo ship ashore in the world’s most vital trade route, the Suez Canal in Egypt disrupted the global supply chain.

In an effort to prevent such incidents in the future, the Suez Canal Authority(SCA) has announced dredging work to widen and deepen the southern part of the canal where the Ever Given was jammed. 

The 30-kilometer-long area will be widened by 40 meters (131 feet) to the east and deepened to 72 feet, up from 66 feet, according to the SCA. Plans also include extending the second lane near the Great Bitter Lake, which opened in 2015, by 10 kilometres allowing two-way traffic along an 82-kilometre stretch. 

An official statement from the SCA read,” the work is intended for “maximizing the canal’s efficiency and shortening the vessels’ transit time, as well as raising the navigation safety .” However, there still remains a dilemma in prevention of such events in the future. 

Though considered as a smart move, the widening of the canal has aroused a war of opinions over the size of the ships used for global trade. 

The Suez Canal harbours 12% of the global trade according to which 19,000 ships traverse the canal every year. During the unprecedented grounding of the Ever Given, global trade of nearly $9.6 billion stalled for six days.

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