Two oil tankers collided in the Suez Canal

2023-08-24 03:43:00

Two tankers carrying petroleum products and liquefied natural gas (LNG) they collided in a section of a single lane of the Suez Canal, in Egypt. The fact interrupted for a few hours the traffic through the world waterway, Egyptian authorities said yesterday. According to the first analyses, there were no people injured or signs of contamination.

The Suez Canal Authority said in a statement that the BW Lesmes, a Singapore-flagged tanker carrying LNG, suffered a mechanical failure in her propulsion and steering systems on Tuesday night and ran aground. The Burri, a Cayman Islands-flagged petroleum products tanker, collided with him at kilometer 144 of the waterwaythey expressed from the channel.

The collision disrupted traffic and the canal authority deployed its tugboats to move the two tankers. The ships were part of a convoy that transited through the canal from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. Within a few hours, traffic returned to normal in both directionsas reported by Admiral Ossama Rabei, head of the canal authority.

The authorities blamed the strong currents in this part of the Suez Canal for the collision. Waterway services firm Leth Agencies stressed that the incident delayed the transit of 21 vessels to the south that were scheduled to pass through the waterway on Tuesday. About 10% of world trade flows through the canal.

Built in 2018, the Burri is 250 meters long and 44 meters wide. The BW Lesmes was built three years later and is 295 meters long and 46.43 meters wide, according to data from MarineTraffic, a provider of ship tracking services.

Canal authorities said they managed to refloat and tow the BW Lesmes. They also removed the Burri from the canal. «All crew members are safe and there were no injuries or reports of contamination.“, indicated from BW LNG AS, the operators of BW Lesmes, in a statement.

Rabei commented that initial inspections showed no significant damage in the tanker trucks and no contamination at the site. A technical team from Oslo, Norway, would arrive at the ship later on Wednesday to investigate, BW LNG AS said.

In recent years, a number of ships have run aground or damaged in the Suez Canal. Earlier this month, a tugboat sank in the channel after colliding with a Hong Kong-flagged tanker.

Tuesday’s collision occurred in the same section of the canal, where the Ever Given, a colossal Panamanian-flagged container ship nearly 400 meters long, crashed into a bank in a one-lane stretch of canal in March 2021, blocking the waterway for six days. The Lesmes is much shorter than the Ever Given.

The canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, was opened in 1869. Provides a crucial link for oil, natural gas and cargos. The canal authority operates a convoy system, consisting of one per day northbound and one southbound.

According to the Suez Canal Authority, Last year, 23,851 ships passed through the waterwaycompared to 20,649 ships in 2021. The canal’s revenues in 2022 reached 8,000 million dollars, the highest in its history.

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