Largest dredge in M-E arrives in Suez Canal

4/10/2021

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The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) announced the arrival of a giant dredge, the largest in the Middle East, in te vital waterway.

"After finishing all the naval experiments, the 48,000-tonne, 216.7-metre-long, 43-metre-wide dredge, which is dubbed Mohab Mamish, has joined the SCA fleet today," Chairman of the SCA Osama Rabie said in a statement on Friday.

A dredge is an apparatus for bringing up objects or mud from a river or seabed by scooping or dragging.

The SCA has signed a 300-million-euro contract with the Dutch company IHC to build two dredges and a digger that could work all day long in all types of sand, and rocky and muddy soil, reports Xinhua news agency.

A team from the IHC will attend the operation tests of the new dredge, he added.

Purchasing the dredgers is part of the SCA's plan by 2026, which also includes developing the maritime fleet, tugboats, and boats used for transport guide.

Another giant dredge called "Hussein Tantawy" is expected to arrive in August, according to Rabie.

On Wednesday, Rabie said 85 ships crossed the waterway carrying 6.1 million tonnes, the heaviest load since the Suez Canal opened for navigation in 1869.

Traffic was restored on March 29 after the 224,000-tonne Panama-flagged ship, Ever Given, was grounded on March 23 after it had veered off its course in a single-lane stretch of the canal during a sandstorm.

The incident caused a six-day suspension of navigation in the canal, stranding at least 422 ships.

Linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, the Suez Canal is a major lifeline for global seaborne trade since it allows ships to travel between Europe and South Asia without navigating around Africa, thereby reducing the sea voyage distance between Europe and India by about 7,000 km.

Some 12 per cent of the world trade volume passes through the Suez Canal.

At least 18,840 ships passed through the canal last year.

The Suez Canal provides one of Egypt's main sources of income, alongside tourism and remittances from expatriates.

Revenue from the waterway reached $5.6 billion last year.

Source: IANS

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