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Egypt: Vessel 'refloated after grounding' in Suez Canal

Bulk carrier transporting grain from Ukraine to China briefly runs aground in Egyptian waterway, causing minor delays
A shipping container passes through the Suez Canal in Suez, Egypt on 15 February 2022 (Reuters)
A shipping container passes through the Suez Canal in Suez, Egypt on 15 February 2022 (Reuters)

A bulk cargo vessel briefly ran aground in Egypt’s Suez Canal before being refloated by canal authority tugs on Monday, according to a Norwegian shipping agency. 

Leth Agencies tweeted on Monday morning that the M/V Glory had grounded while joining a southbound convoy near el-Qantara, a northeast Egyptian city in the Ismailia governorate. 

The agency later confirmed that the carrier had been refloated by Suez Canal Authority (SCA) tugs, with 21 southbound vessels due to continue their transits. It estimated that only minor delays were expected.

SCA chief Osama Rabie said on Monday that the Glory had suffered "a sudden technical failure" and that tugboats had "begun towing the ship". 

The Marshall Islands-flagged vessel was carrying grain from Ukraine to China. 

It left Ukraine’s Chornomorsk port on 25 December with 65,970 metric tonnes of corn, according to the Turkey-based Joint Coordination Centre (JCC), which oversees Ukraine grain exports.

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About 15 percent of world shipping traffic transits the Suez Canal, which is an important source of foreign currency revenue for Egypt. 

In March 2021, the 400-metre long container ship Ever Given grabbed global headlines after it was jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal in high winds, halting traffic on the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia. 

The mammoth vessel was eventually freed after six days, with the SCA claiming it had lost between $12m and $15m in fees for each day of the closure. 

In addition, the blockage held up an estimated $9.6bn worth of cargo each day, according to maritime data company Lloyd's List.

Egyptian authorities seized the Ever Given after the supercontainer was released, in an attempt to secure more than $900m in damages. The Japanese-owned vessel finally left the waterway in July 2021 after a compensation deal was signed. 

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