The Suez Canal was in danger to remain blocked again and it’s known that about 12% of world trade runs through this way. The man-made waterway 152-year-old divides continental Africa from the Sinai Peninsula, and provides a crucial link for oil, natural gas and cargo. On Wednesday, the 252-meter long and 45 meters wide Singapore-flagged Aframax Affinity V tanker, an oil vessel sailed from Portugal and bound for Saudi Arabia, carrying around 40% of its total capacity, was blocked in the canal in the narrow southern section of the canal in Egypt where the Japanese owned much larger vessel Ever Given container ship caused a week-long halt to traffic in March 2021. A working group was formed by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA). Fortunatelly, the ship was refloated five hours later by five tug boats in a coordinated operation. The Affinity V had passed through the canal.
There was a problem in the vessel’s steering systems that caused it to run aground. Traffic had returned to normal. The vessel was part of a convoy heading south to the Red Sea. After the Ever Given ran aground, the SCA had announced accelerated plans to expand the canaL Work is due to be completed in 2023. In September 2021, another large shipping vessel ran aground before authorities managed to free it within hours. 20,649 vessels passed through the canal last year.