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Suez Canal starts dredging work to extend double lane By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A ship sails through Suez Canal as traffic resumes after a container ship that blocked the waterway was refloated, Egypt, March 30, 2021. REUTERS/Ahmed Fahmy

CAIRO (Reuters) -The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has started dredging work to extend a second lane that allows for two-way traffic in a southern section of the canal near to where a giant container ship got stuck for six days in March, it said on Saturday.

The SCA announced this week that it was planning to extend a second canal lane that opened in 2015 by 10 km to make it 82 km long, and would widen and deepen a single lane stretch at the southern end of the canal.

The work had begun following directives from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi “to immediately start implementing the proposed development plan and put in place a timetable for completion as soon as possible”, the SCA said on Saturday.

The grounding of the 440-metre Ever Given container ship in a southern section of the canal from March 23-29 delayed the passage of hundreds of vessels through the waterway, disrupting global trade.

The Ever Given, still loaded with thousands of containers, is being held in the Great Bitter Lake between two stretches of the canal, amid a dispute over an SCA compensation claim against the ship’s Japanese owner Shoei Kisen.

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