The CEO of Dutch dredging company Boskalis, Peter Berdowski, hopes that he will be able to free the ship stuck in the Suez Canal early next week. But whether it will be successful depends on a number of factors, he told in the Nieuwsuur (News Hour) program.
According to Berdowski, two heavy tugboats with a bollard pull of about 400 tons are going to the site of the accident of the container ship Ever Given. They will reach the traffic jam on Sunday.
Berdowski believes a combination of factors may be beneficial to free the ship. High tide is expected on Monday, which will raise the water level by an additional 40-50 cm.
With the help of these vessels, given the already removed sand and high tide, we hope we will be able to get the Ever Given on the fairway early next week, ”Berdowski said.
If that doesn't work, Berdowski has a plan B.
“We are already installing cranes ashore, which should allow us to remove containers from the bow deck. This will lighten and slightly raise the front of the boat to facilitate refloating, ”he said.
The disadvantage of this plan, according to experts, is that its implementation will take longer. We are talking about at least 600 containers, and it remains unclear what to do with them in the future. All around the desert, and movement along the canal will have to resume immediately.
“We are currently playing chess on two boards at the same time. But we hope that there will be enough tugs, high tide and deepening of the bottom, ”Berdowski said.
The container ship Ever Given, owned by the Japanese company Shoei Kisen KK, was sailing from China to Rotterdam under the Panama flag. Last Tuesday, in a sandstorm off course, he ran aground in the southern part of the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic. About 300 ships have already accumulated here and the traffic jam continues to grow.
The Suez Canal is one of the most significant trade routes in the world, the most important link in the supply of oil from the Middle East to Europe and the United States, about 20 thousand ships pass through it a year.
Recall that the container ship that blocked the Suez Canal has already caused the growth of world oil prices and regional prices for steel and ore. Economists estimate that each hour of channel downtime costs the global economy $ 400 million, while total losses could exceed $ 10 billion.