Broken down Grace Emilia bulker not affecting Suez Canal traffic: SCA chairman

Ahram Online , Wednesday 1 Feb 2023

Chairman of Egypt's Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Osama Rabie said a ship broke down on Wednesday while transiting the Egyptian waterway due to a technical fault, but didn't affect the marine traffic.

The largest and newest container ship in the world, the CMA CGM Marco Polo, sails through the Suez C
The largest and newest container ship in the world, the CMA CGM Marco Polo, sails through the Suez Canal ahead of the opening ceremony. AFP


In remarks to Sada Al-Balad news website, Rabie denied that the ship ran aground and affected the traffic of the waterway, adding that it experienced a steering malfunction and was moved to the side of the canal.

Earlier, Bloomberg said work is underway to refloat the LNG carrier Grace Emilia after it ran aground in the Canal during a northbound transit, citing Otto Jervell, managing director at shipping agency Leth Agencies.

Jervell added that Grace Emilia could be refloated within a few hours.

Spokesman for Suez Canal George Sawfat later told MENA that 68 ships transited through the international waterway today.

Technical bodies at the canal are now fixing the steering fault of the ship so that it can resume its journey, the spokesman said.The incident is the second this year. It comes less than a month after the MV Glory vessel broke down while transiting the international waterway in January before it was towed away by four SCA tugboats to a nearby maritime park to be fixed.

Egypt’s Suez Canal revenues hit a record of $8 billion in 2022, up from $6.3 billion in 2021, the SCA said in late January.

The canal also achieved the highest annual transit of ships, numbering 23,851 ships, as well as the highest annual net tonnage of 1.4 billion tons, said the SCA.

The SCA published an infograph at the time comparing the navigation statistics in the Suez Canal between 2008-2014 and 2016-2022 -- before and after the inauguration of the New Suez Canal project that established a parallel path to the original.

The figures showed an eight percent increase in the number of vessels: 135,000 ships crossed the canal after the opening of the new path, up from 125,000

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