- The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said this week it plans on widening and deepening the Suez Canal.
- Officials are making the changes in the hopes of avoiding a repeat of the Ever Given blunder.
- The plan is to increase the width of the waterway by 131 feet and to deepen the area by 10 feet.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
In a televised address on Tuesday, the head of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), Osama Rabie, said an 18.6 mile stretch of the waterway would be widened by about 131 feet (40 meters) and deepened by 32 feet (10 meters) to improve the movement of ships in the area.
The expansion will take around two years, Rabie said.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who also spoke at the event, stressed he doesn’t want to mobilize “huge” public funding for the project, according to Bloomberg.
The Japanese-owned Ever Given container ship made headlines in March after it ran aground in the single-lane stretch during a sandstorm.
It blocked the crucial waterway for six days, forcing some vessels to reroute, while hundreds had to wait for the Ever Given to be freed.
A few days after the Ever Given was dislodged, the SCA impounded the ship and its cargo and lodged a compensation claim of $916 million.
The canal authority since reduced the claims to $600 million. However, the insurer of the vessel said this amount is still too high.
The massive container ship had spent 48 days idle as of Saturday. It is impounded in the Great Bitter Lake, a body of water roughly 30 miles from where it first got stuck.
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