Megaship blocking Suez Canal may be refloated Saturday: owner

Megaship blocking Suez Canal may be refloated Saturday owner

- The Suez Canal was blocked for a fifth day, and the Egyptian authorities are continuing efforts and trying to make new attempts to free the giant vessel and reopen the waterway.

The Financial Times' "part-time boat correspondent" offered a fascinating deep dive into why this incident was not that unlikely, considering Ever Given's massive size relative to the Suez Canal's shallow depth.

It has now been four days since Ever Given, the 400-metre long container got stuck between banks of the Suez Canal.

Peter Berdowski, CEO of Boskalis, the salvage firm hired to extract the Ever Given, said the company hoped to pull the container ship free within days using a combination of heavy tugboats, dredging and high tides.

Dredgers had removed some 20,000 tons of sand from around its bow by Friday, but tugging operations to free the ship were suspended overnight.

However they were jammed again due to the changing tide, he said, adding that rescuers had had to resort to excavators again overnight to continue the dredging process.

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) "welcomed cooperation" with the U.S. in removing the giant cargo ship that has blocked the course of the world's busiest waterway, a SCA statement said on Friday.

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On Saturday, more shipping companies appeared to be losing confidence that the canal would get unblocked soon.

Egypt Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly called the ship's predicament "a very extraordinary incident", in his first public comments on the blockage in a press conference in Cairo.

The Ever Given is owned by the Japanese company Shoei Kisen Kaisha.

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- The company Shoei Kisen Kaisha said in a statement that dislodging the giant vessel is "extremely" hard.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Friday that the US could "see some potential impacts on energy markets from the role of the Suez Canal as a key bidirectional transit route for oil". "We have equipment and capacity that most countries don't have and we're seeing what we can do and what help we can be", President Biden told reporters.

"On Friday, there was an indication of success to refloat the ship, but we can not guarantee when exactly the refloating process complete", Rabie said.

Sam Woods with Calgary-based shipping company Jori Logistics, says the disruption will only exaggerate an existing problem.

More than 15 per cent of global shipping traffic moves through the canal, which is the fastest seaborne route between Asia and Europe. It also had "two pilots from Egypt's canal authority aboard the vessel to guide it when the grounding happened around 7:45 a.m. Tuesday", according to the AP.

Under normal circumstances, the temporary delays in global supply chains would not be a "big issue", it said.

The shipping index benchmark for LR2 vessels from the Middle East to Japan, known as TC1, has climbed by a third since last week to 137.5 worldscale points, said Anoop Jayaraj, clean tanker broker at Fearnleys Singapore.

It remained unclear how the Ever Given, which was heading to the Netherlands, got grounded.

In addition to oil, Gold noted that a myriad of other goods float through the canal every day - including apparel, footwear, accessories and home goods.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Navy told the Financial Times that it has received concerned calls from shipping companies anxious about the threat of piracy if they divert shipments around the Cape of Good Hope as several freighters have already done.

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