Oil Tanker Breakdown Disrupts Traffic in Suez Canal

Suez Canal

The tanker was on its way from Russia to China

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A spokesman for the Suez Canal Authority said that an oil tanker broke down in the canal on Sunday, disrupting traffic in the global waterway for a short period.

George Safwat, a spokesman for the Egyptian Suez Canal Authority, said that the ship “Sevigur”, which flies the flag of Malta, suffered a mechanical failure at the 12th kilometer mark of the canal.

He also said that the canal authority has deployed three boats to tow the tanker and allow other ships to cross the waterway.

He explained that the tanker was part of the northern convoy crossing the canal from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.

For his part, Lieutenant General Osama Rabie, head of the Suez Canal Authority, said in a telephone interview on (Cairo News) channel, on Sunday, that the convoy of the south is working well.

Hours later, Rabih said in a statement that navigation in the canal returned to normal after three boats towed the tanker to a double lane at the 17th kilometer mark of the canal.

He added that the “Sevigor” crew is working to fix the defect, but he did not disclose further details.

Made in 2016, Sevigur is 274 meters (899 feet) long and 48.63 meters (159 feet) wide, according to the ship-tracking service.

Sunday’s incident is the latest case of a ship reported to be stuck in the vital waterway. A series of ships have run aground or broken down in the Suez Canal over the past few years.

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On May 25, a Hong Kong-flagged vessel briefly blocked the canal. On March 5, a Liberian-flagged vessel ran aground in the two-lane section of the waterway. Both ships were refloated hours later.

In March 2021, a large Panamanian-flagged container ship collided with a bank along one lane of the canal, shutting down the waterway for six days and disrupting global trade.

The canal, which opened in 1869, is an important and vital passage for oil, natural gas and goods. About 10% of world trade flows through it, and it is a major source of foreign currency for the Egyptian government.

According to the Suez Canal Authority, 23,851 ships crossed the waterway last year, compared to 20,649 ships in 2021. The canal’s revenues in 2022 amounted to eight billion dollars, the highest in its history.

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2023-06-04 09:29:27
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