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Maritime traffic jam grows outside blocked Suez Canal – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado 2021-04-04 23:09:57 –

SAMY MAGDY

Suez, Egypt-Friday, as maritime traffic congestion outside the Suez Canal expanded to more than 200 vessels, dredger and tugboats released a huge container ship that was clogged sideways in the waterways, disrupting world shipping. The department’s ships began to change course.

One rescue expert said the release of the cargo ship, Ever Gived, could take up to a week in the best scenario, which could be a structural problem with the ship as it remains wedged. Warned about.

Ever Given, owned by Japanese company Shoei Kisen KK, was sandwiched in one lane of the canal about 6 km (3.7 miles) north of the south entrance near the city of Suez on Tuesday.

Lieutenant General Osama Labay, Secretary of the Suez Canal Authority, said in a statement Friday night that the dredger had stopped removing sand around the bow and the tugboat was preparing another towing attempt. There was no immediate word as to whether they managed to move a skyscraper-sized vessel, and previous attempts at tugboats failed.

A team of Boscalis, a Dutch company specializing in salvage, worked with canal authorities on a special suction dredger on the port side of the tugboat and cargo ship’s bow. Egyptian authorities have banned media access to the site.

“This is a complex technical operation and requires several attempts to release the ship,” Labay said in a statement.

Bernhard Schulteship Management, Technical Manager at Evergiven, said attempts to release it at the beginning of Friday were unsuccessful.

The Suez Canal Authority said it welcomed international support. The White House said it offered to help Egypt reopen the canal. “We are consulting with our Egyptian partners on how to best support their efforts,” said spokesman Jen Psaki.

Initial investigations showed that the ship had stranded due to strong winds and ruled out mechanical or engine failures, the company said. GAC, a global shipping and logistics company, previously stated that the vessel had experienced a power outage, but did not go into details.

Bernhard Schulte said two canal pilots were on board when the ship got stuck. According to experts, such arrangements are customary, but the captain retains ultimate authority over the ship.

According to data company Refinitiv, more than 100 vessels are heading to the waterways, in addition to more than 200 vessels waiting near the canal.

According to satellite data, the owners of the berthed ship, apparently anticipating a long delay, bypassed Africa on behalf of their sister ship, Evergrid.

Others are also diverted. According to satellite data from MarineTraffic.com, the liquefied natural gas carrier Pan Americas has rerouted along the Mid-Atlantic coast and is now aiming to orbit the southern tip of Africa to the south.

About 10% of world trade flows through canals, which is especially important for oil transportation. The closure can also affect oil and gas shipments from the Middle East to Europe.

Analyst Trill Bosoni said the oil market has absorbed the turmoil so far.

“Oil inventories are declining, but still relatively abundant,” he told The Associated Press, adding that the impact could be more pronounced in the tanker sector than in the oil industry.

“We won’t lose our oil supply, but if the tank truck has to go around, it will hold the tanker longer,” he said.

At the White House, Mr. Pusaki added that the United States “sees some of the potential impact of the Suez Canal’s role as a major two-way transport route for oil on the energy market.” … We will continue to monitor market conditions and take appropriate action as necessary, but we are watching carefully. “

Release Evergiven is a “significant challenge” and can take up to 5 days to a week. Knicksloan, a maritime rescue expert who led a high-profile effort to rescue the cruise ship Costa Concordia in 2012, told AP.

Evergiven’s location, size, and bulk of cargo make operations more complicated, Sloan said. The work should initially focus on dredging and re-floating the embankment and the surrounding seabed, rather than unloading cargo that can take weeks.

He added that the clock is also structurally ticking on the ship.

“The longer it takes, the worse the condition of the ship, because she is slowly sagging,” said Sloan, Vice President of the International Relief Union. “Therefore, the ship is designed to bend, but it is not held in that position full of cargo for several weeks at a time, so that is not an easy situation.”

International companies are preparing for the impact of canal blockages on supply chains that rely on accurate delivery of goods. Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said Singapore’s ports should anticipate turmoil.

“If that happens, we’ll need to cut inventory,” he said on Facebook.

According to IHS Markit, a business research group, unprocessed vessels can stress the international supply of European ports and containers already strained by the coronavirus pandemic. It is said that 49 container ships were scheduled to pass through the canal within a week after Evergiven anchored.

According to Marcus Baker, global head of insurance broker Marsh’s Marine & Cargo, this delay could also lead to huge claims by companies, with ships like Ever Given usually covering $ 100- $ 200 million. It has been.

According to Egyptian officials from the canal authorities, those trying to release the ship want to avoid complications that could extend the closure of the canal. He was not allowed to speak to journalists, so officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

Satellites and photographs distributed by the canal authorities show the bow of the Evergiven touching the eastern wall, but its stern appeared to be stuck on the western wall.

Evergiven was involved in an accident in northern Germany in 2019 when he encountered a small ferry moored on the Norderelbe in Hamburg. At that time, the ferry had no passengers or injuries, but was seriously damaged.

Hamburg prosecutors have begun investigating Evergiven captains and pilots on suspicion of endangering shipping, but shelved it in 2020 due to lack of evidence, spokeswoman Liddy Oechtering told The Associated Press. Told.

Oechtering also failed to determine what caused the crash, but officials at the time suggested that strong winds could have blown a slow-moving cargo ship into the ferry.

Contributed by Associated Press writer David Rising in Berlin, Pan Pylas in London, and Nancy Benac in Washington.

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