Work To Widen Suez Canal is Underway

The Ever Given container ship that blocked the Suez Canal in March, docks in Rotterdam, Netherlands, July 29, 2021. REUTERS/Eva Plevier

Work is underway to expand the two-way section of the Suez canal to 82 km (51 miles) from 72 km, the chairman of the authority managing the Egyptian waterway said on Tuesday.

Suez Canal Authority Chairman Osama Rabie, giving the first news conference to update on the expansion that began last year, said it would be too expensive to widen the entire length of the link between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

Global shipping traffic was disrupted last year when one of the world's largest container ships got stuck in the southern section of the 190 km canal for about a week.

Rabie was speaking on a dredger north of Suez, about two kilometers from the location where the container ship, the Ever Given, got stuck last March.

​ He said the aim of the work is to increase traffic safety, and that transit time to pass through the canal will remain at 11 hours.

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