CAIRO: Efforts to float the giant container ship Ever Given are continuing around the clock, Lt. Gen. Osama Rabie, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, said on Sunday.
As part of the operation, dredging activities are being carried out in the day, followed up with tugging maneuvers in appropriate tidal conditions.
Rabie said that as a result of dredging work, 27,000 cubic meters of sand has been excavated to a depth of 18 meters, despite the movement of material from the bottom of the ship to newly dredged areas.
To aid the flotation process, sand surrounding the bow of the vessel must be removed in tandem with pulling maneuvers by tugs, Rabie said. The head of the authority said that 12 tugboats are now operating across three directions to redirect the giant vessel. Two tugboats, Baraka 1 and Izzat Adel, are pulling from the bow, six tugboats are pushing the stern of the ship southward and four others are pulling.
Rabie said that two new tugboats, Abdel Hamid Youssef and Mustafa Mahmoud, will be used in maneuvers following their construction in Port Said Shipyard.
Both new ships feature identical technical specifications. They will be 35.87 meters long, 12.5 meters wide and have a max speed of 13 knots. Both vessels will use propellers from German company Voith and onboard machinery from Japanese company Daihatsu.