Egypt has started dredging work to extend a second lane that will allow for two-way traffic at the Suez Canal, nearly three months after a giant container ship got stuck across the canal and blocked the passage for days.
The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) on Saturday confirmed that works were underway in a southern section of the canal, near the spot where the Ever Given container carrier got wedged across the waterway for six days, leaving 400 vessels waiting at either end.
According to Reuters, the SCA previously announced plans to extend a second canal lane that opened in 2015 by 10 km to make it 82 km long, and that it would widen and deepen a single lane stretch at the southern end of the canal.
Reports indicate that about 12 percent of global trade passes through the 193km canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.
The Suez Canal is the shortest sea link between Asia and Europe.
Nearly a hundred vessels travel the water way every day, generating total service fees of about 5.3 billion US dollars in 2017 – a sizable source of revenue for the country.