Suez Canal Chief Cites Progress in Bid to Free Ship; No Timeline

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Progress is being made in the attempt to free the container vessel blocking the Suez Canal, the head of the canal’s authority said Saturday, but declined to set a timetable for when the operation will be over.

A new attempt to re-float the 400-meter-long Ever Given could happen today or Sunday and authorities have raised to 10 the number of tug boats involved in operations, Osama Rabie told reporters in Suez City. But given the size and tonnage of the ship, he said the Suez Canal Authority was facing a “difficult” task.

The CEO said the authority would investigate the causes of Tuesday’s incident after the ship is refloated, adding there were many possible explanations.

A total of 321 ships remain in the canal, and authorities are working to provide them with all necessary services, Rabie said. Offers of help from the U.S., China and others are being studied, according to Rabie.

The Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, is a major source of foreign currency for Egypt. The blockage is costing canal authorities between $12 million and $14 million in lost revenue per day, Rabie said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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