Rabu, 24 Maret 2021

Container ship stuck in Suez Canal could take days to dislodge, holding up transportation of oil - ABC News

An Egyptian official says the operation to refloat a skyscraper-sized container ship wedged across Egypt's Suez Canal could take at least two days, which will create a major knock-on effect for global shipping.

The Ever Given, a Panama-flagged ship that carries cargo between Asia and Europe, ran aground in the narrow, man-made canal dividing continental Africa from the Sinai Peninsula.

Tugboats attempted to try to nudge the obstruction out of the way as ships hoping to enter the waterway began lining up in the Mediterranean and Red Seas.

But it remained unclear when the route, which is particularly crucial for the transport of oil, would reopen.

Oil analytics firm Vortexa said ten tankers carrying 13 million barrels of crude were on their way to Europe from the Middle East.


The approximate rate of the backlog is about 50 vessels a day and any delays leading to re-routings will add 15 days to the voyage, they added.

The price of international benchmark Brent crude jumped nearly 2.9 per cent to $US62.52 a barrel Wednesday local time.

Already, some 30 vessels are waiting at Egypt's Great Bitter Lake, midway through the canal, while some 40 are idling in the Mediterranean near Port Said and another 30 at Suez in the Red Sea, according to canal service provider Leth Agencies.

Port agent GAC said on its website that 15 other ships in the northbound convoy behind the Ever Given were detained at anchorages waiting for the canal to be cleared.

Ever Green, sits with its bow stuck into the wall in the Suez canal.
Photos shared by the SCA showed a digger removing earth and rock from the bank of the canal around the ship's bow.(

AP: Suez Canal Authority


The main alternative route for ships travelling between Asia and Europe is around the African cape, which could take at least a week longer to navigate.

About 12 per cent of world trade volume passes through the canal, and it is a major source of hard currency for Egypt.

Cause of incident still unclear

Images showed the ship's bow was touching the eastern wall, while its stern looked lodged against the western wall — an extraordinary event that experts said they had never heard of happening before in the canal's 150-year history.


The manager of the Ever Given said all 20 members of the crew were safe and that there had been "no reports of injuries or pollution".

It wasn't immediately clear what caused the Ever Given to become wedged on Tuesday morning (local time).

Evergreen Marine Corporation, a major Taiwan-based shipping company that operates the ship, said in a statement that the Ever Given had been overcome by strong winds as it entered the canal from the Red Sea but none of its containers had sunk.

Egyptian forecasters said high winds and a sandstorm plagued the area on Tuesday, with winds gusting to as much as 50 kph.

However, it remained unclear how winds of that speed alone would have been able to push a fully laden vessel weighing 224,000 tonnes.



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2021-03-24 15:38:46Z

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