The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has said it will build a number of new waiting areas and expand its tugboat fleet following the grounding of the Ever Given.
In a statement, chairman and managing director Osama Rabie said the SCA has launched plans to help it deal with any future emergency.
“Our efforts also include developing 16 traffic monitoring stations along the waterway and providing ambulance services as well as various salvage services,” Rabie said.
“That is in addition to developing the traffic monitoring centres in the Canal cities and modernising our fleet of maritime units which includes dredgers, tugboats and speedboats.”
Rabie also revealed the SCA will enhance its salvage capabilities by purchasing large tugboats of high bollard pull capacity to “keep abreast of developments in the fields of maritime salvage and shipbuilding worldwide”.
Additionally, Rabie also dismissed claims that the crisis was caused by poor safety measures in the Suez Canal and that the SCA has taken pre-emptive measures since the opening of the New Suez Canal in 2015 to allow for mega-ships to travel through.
“This project had a significant impact on achieving the highest levels of maritime safety by means of increasing the doubled areas along the waterway allowing for a better handling of possible emergencies in the Canal.”
The Suez Canal was blocked for several days after the mega-ship Ever Given ran aground while transiting causing more than 300 vessels to wait at anchor and others to divert via the Cape of Good Hope. Ports in Europe are now braced for potential congestion as the backlog clears.