Egypt’s president approved the expansion of the Suez Canal on Tuesday in response to a ship getting stuck in the strategic waterway earlier this year.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi approved the Suez Canal Authority’s plan to widen and deepen 40 kilometers (25 miles) of the canal, including the part where the Ever Given got stuck in March. The project will include widening the canal by 40 meters (131 feet) between the city of Suez, where the canal meets the Red Sea, and the Great Bitter Lake north of there. That area will also be deepened by about 20 to 22 meters (66 to 72 feet), according to the state-owned Al-Ahram news outlet.
The Panamanian-flagged, 220,000-metric-ton container ship Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal in March for about a week before it was refloated. It created a traffic jam of more than 100 ships and had a major effect on global trade, 12% of which passes through the canal.
The plan to widen the canal was floated by the Suez Canal Authority last month.
The stuck ship incident is still not resolved. Egyptian authorities are currently holding Ever Given until it pays $600 million in compensation for the lost trade, according to Al-Ahram.