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A huge container ship blocking the Suez Canal in Egypt for nearly a week has been partially refloated, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) announced on Monday, March 29, giving hope that the busy waterway will soon be reopened. for a huge backlog of ships, write Yusri Mohamed, Nadine Awadalla and Aidan Lewis.

Huge vessel partially refloated, no more work needed

Along 400 meters (430 yards) Never given blocked diagonally over a southern section of the canal in high winds early last Tuesday (March 23), disrupting shipping traffic on the shortest sea route between Europe and Asia.

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After additional dredging and excavation work over the weekend, rescue workers from SCA and a team from Dutch company Smit Salvage worked to free the vessel using tugs in the early hours of Monday, said declared both maritime and maritime sources.

SCA said Ever Given has been righted in the canal and further towing operations will resume once the tide comes in later Monday. Maritime traffic through the canal will resume once the ship is directed to the lakes area, a wider section of the canal, he added.

Graphic: Never given again afloat, being secured by the authorities

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BIG BACKLOG

At least 369 ships were waiting to pass through the canal, including dozens of container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers and liquefied natural gas (LNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels, said SCA chairman Osama. Rabie.

“It is very possible that by noon maritime activity will resume, God willing,” Rabie told Egyptian state television on Monday. “We won’t waste a second.”

Completing the bailout of the Suez Canal ship won’t be easy: CEO of BoskalisVideo appears to show Ever Given’s stern tipped over to the canal bank: social media

The SCA said it could speed convoys through the canal once Ever Given is released.

“We have movement, which is good news. But I wouldn’t say it’s a piece of cake now, ”Peter Berdowski, CEO of Smit Salvage’s parent company Boskalis, told Dutch public radio.

High pressure water would be injected under the bow of the ship to remove sand and clay, but if this failed, the containers could have to be removed from the ship causing a considerable delay, he said. he declares.

A source involved in the rescue operation told Reuters on Monday that they were ballasting the ship and expected that with a favorable tide the cargo would not need to be removed.

“The good news is she has moved. But she’s still stuck in the mud. A second large anchor tug will arrive this morning. I hope they will be able to free her.

The ship’s technical director, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), said operations to ensure the ship’s full refloating were still ongoing.

Graphic: Contained vessel Ever Given has been refloated, but a massive ice jam remains at the Suez Canal –

Reuters chart

CHEERS ERUCE, RAW PRICES FALL

A video posted to social media appeared to show the ship overturned, opening up a gap in the canal. Other images, which could not be immediately verified by Reuters, included cheering and honking of ships in celebration.

Crude oil prices fell after news of progress on the ship’s bailout was announced, with Brent crude falling $ 1 a barrel to $ 63.67. Shares of Taiwan-listed Evergreen Marine Corp, the ship’s lessor, rose 3.3%.

About 15% of global maritime traffic passes through the Suez Canal, which is a key source of foreign exchange earnings for Egypt. The current shutdown is costing channel 14 to $ 15 million per day. Slideshow (3 images)

Tanker shipping rates nearly doubled after the ship ran aground, and the lockdown disrupted global supply chains, threatening costly delays for businesses already facing COVID-19 restrictions.

Some shippers have rerouted their cargoes around the Cape of Good Hope, adding around two weeks to trips and additional fuel costs.

A note from AP Moeller Maersk seen by Reuters said it had so far redirected 15 ships around Cape Town after calculating the trip would equal the current delay in sailing to Suez and the queue.

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