Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean



Bailing out Ever Given frees up Suez Canal traffic

The Ever Given has been refloated (photo: Suez Canal Authority)
The Ever Given has been refloated (photo: Suez Canal Authority)
EGYPT. After six days of blockage in the Suez Canal since its grounding on Tuesday 23 March 2021, the Panamanian-flagged container ship Ever Given is finally out of trouble. On Monday 29 March 2021, Admiral Osama Rabie, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), announced in a press release that the vessel of the Taiwanese company Evergreen "has been successfully salvaged. This result is the result of successful pushing and towing manoeuvres which allowed the vessel's course to be restored by 80%, with the stern now 102 metres from the canal bank instead of 4 metres before refloating.

Further operations will take place, as soon as the high tide reaches 2 metres at around 11.30am. "This will allow the ship to be completely re-steered and positioned in the middle of the waterway," says the SCA.

The 400-metre long and 59-metre wide vessel ran aground on Tuesday 23 March 2021, diagonally across the canal, victim of strong winds and a sandstorm that reduced visibility.
The Ever Given completely blocked the Suez Canal, which carries 12% of the world's maritime traffic. Eleven giant tugs operated for almost a week to clear it and excavators had to remove 27,000 cubic metres of sand. Some 360 ships on standby will gradually be able to continue sailing. The SCA estimates that it will take three and a half days for the traffic to clear and return to normal flow.

According to the insurer Allianz, each day of blockage has cost between $6 and $10 billion to world trade. The SCA estimated the loss to Egypt at $12-14m per day of the Suez Canal closure.

Eric Apim

Monday, March 29th 2021

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