Egypt sent three tugboats on Sunday to tow an oil tanker that broke down in the Suez Canal, said the authorities in charge of the sea passage through which 10% of world trade passes.
Traffic has returned to normal “in both directions” after a brief interruption caused by a “technical malfunction in the engine room” of the Maltese-flagged Seavigour ship destined for Russia’s annexation to China, the Suez Canal authorities said.
According to the same source, three tugboats had to “pull and moor for repairs” an oil tanker that then broke down, 82,000 tons, 274m long and 48m wide.
The incident occurred as Egypt was in an economic crisis characterized by 32 percent inflation and a 50 percent devaluation of the national currency. The country is looking for resources in dollars to meet these urgent challenges. The Suez Canal is one of the main sources of foreign exchange income, with revenues of more than $7 billion in 2022.
In March 2021, Ever Given, a giant container ship of almost 200,000 tons whose nose was stuck on the east bank of the canal during a sandstorm, blocked the lane between Europe and Asia.
The rescue operation lasted six days and cost the life of an agent of the Suez Canal Authority. Egypt was losing between $12 million and $15 million a day due to the closure, while insurers estimated the impact on global maritime trade at billions of dollars in losses per day.