Images of Ever Given in the Suez Canal captured by the company’s WorldView 3 satellite on Saturday, March 27, 2021.
The Suez Canal Authority is hoping the massive ship blocking the canal will be back in service by Saturday but doesn’t know when the ship will be back afloat, Chairman Osama Rabie said at a press conference.
“Today we managed to create a room 18 meters deep and we believe we can get the ship back in service by today,” Rabie said.
“The ground we work on is tough. Other negative factors have been the ebb and flow of high winds in addition to the other factors I mentioned earlier including the weight, width and length of the stranded ship,” he added added.
Rabie said 9,000 tons of ballast water had been removed from the stranded ship Ever Given and that the ship’s rudder and propeller had been put back into service.
The ship, a 220,000 ton mega-ship with a capacity of nearly a quarter mile and a capacity of 20,000 containers, ran aground when it entered Egypt’s Suez Canal from the Red Sea.
Some reports have shown that high winds contributed to the stranding. However, Rabie said winds were not the main factor, and human or technical errors could have played a role.
The ship has completely blocked the canal, where up to 12% of the world’s sea trade takes place and through which 50 container ships normally pass per day.The chairman of the Suez Canal Authority said on Saturday 321 ships are waiting to transit.
The shipping crisis, now on the fifth day, has heightened concerns about the global supply chain, which has already been hit by the coronavirus pandemic. According to Lloyd’s List, each day the blockade disrupts more than $ 9 billion worth of goods, which is roughly the equivalent of $ 400 million an hour.
The owners of the massive ship that blocked the Suez Canal on Friday said they wanted to get the ship back afloat by Saturday evening in hopes that a flood and further removal of sediment would finally displace it.
March 26, 2021, Egypt, Suez: A boy observes two tugs taking part in the floating operation that is being carried out to free the “Ever Given”.
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At a press conference on Friday, Yukito Higaki, the president of Shoei Kisen, who owns the Ever Given, said the ship would be released “tomorrow evening in Japan,” according to a translation by the Nikkei news agency.
“We are now continuing to work on removing sediment with additional dredging tools,” he added, apologizing for the “major problems and concerns” the incident caused.
Other media reports suggest that at least two attempts will be made on Saturday to free the ship on the expected high tide. Reuters, citing sources, reported that work would begin at 2:30 p.m. local time.
Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the Dutch technical manager campaigning for the liberation of Ever Given, said there have been no reports of pollution or cargo damage, and preliminary investigations rule out mechanical or engine failure as the cause of the grounding.
“All 25 crew members are safe and responsible and they remain in good health and spirits. All crew members are Indian nationals and will remain on board,” BSM said in a statement.
“You are working closely with everyone involved to get the ship going again. The hard work and tireless professionalism of the captain and crew are greatly appreciated.”
Some ship operators have already decided to reroute their ships in Africa in the expectation that the Ever Given will not be displaced anytime soon.
Oil and natural gas prices have risen due to the blockade, but some economists believe the effects will be short-lived.
“While commodity prices may rise temporarily as freight traffic is disrupted and ships are forced to reroute in Africa, we don’t see any lasting effects. Countries will source raw materials from elsewhere or stockpiles until the channel is available again,” said the commodities team at Capital Economics on Friday in a research note.
Close-ups of dredging around Ever Given in the Suez Canal captured by the company’s WorldView 3 satellite on Saturday, March 27, 2021.
– CNBC’s Natasha Turak, Pippa Stevens, and Hannah Miao contributed to this article.