Egypt deployed three tugs on Sunday to tow an oil tanker that had broken down in the Suez Canal, announced the authority in charge of this maritime passage through which 10% of world trade passes.< /strong>
Traffic has returned to normal “in both directions”, after a brief interruption caused by an “engine room technical malfunction” of the Seavigour vessel, which is supposed to rally Russia to China, said the Suez Canal Authority.
Then broke down, three tugs had to “haul and moor for repairs” the oil tanker with a capacity of 82 000 tons and 274 meters long and 48 wide, said the same source.
The incident occurred while Egypt is going through an economic crisis characterized by 32% inflation and a devaluation of its currency by 50%. The country is looking for dollar resources to meet these urgent challenges.
The Suez Canal is one of its top sources of foreign exchange revenue with over $7 billion in recorded revenue in 2022.
In March 2021, the Ever Given, a giant container ship weighing almost 200,000 tons whose bow had become embedded in the eastern bank of the canal during a sandstorm, blocked the traffic route between Europe and Asia for several days.
The rescue operation lasted six days and cost the life of an agent of the Suez Canal Authority. Egypt had lost between 12 and 15 million dollars per day of closure, while insurers had estimated the impact on global maritime trade at billions of dollars per day.