New Suez Canal Allows Traffic to Bypass Casualty
The Suez Canal Authority's chairman and managing director, Admiral Mohab Mamish, said in a statement Monday that vessel traffic is still moving despite the grounding of the bulker New Katerina in the canal last Thursday.
He said that over 200 ships of a combined 13 million tons had since passed by the grounded vessel, with 46 ships completing transits on Monday alone. Admiral Mamish attributed the lack of congestion to the recently completed New Suez Canal project, which opened last year, adding 40 nautical miles of parallel channels and dredged lanes. The New Katerina is aground in one of the two parallel waterways at kilometer 63, just north of Ismailia.
The admiral said that the situation was under control and a salvage team was on site and working to refloat her. She reportedly suffered damage to her bow in the grounding, including a hull breach and flooding. Divers have inspected her and performed an assessment, and next steps include lightering to remove part of her cargo of iron ore. AIS data on Tuesday show her against the west bank of the western channel, attended by the tug Mosaed 2.
The New Katerina went aground on February 25, reportedly due to loss of steering, and imagery from local news outlets showed her trimmed sharply forward. She was en route from Ukraine to Qingdao, China.
New Katerina (ex name Katerina Warrior) is a 170,000 dwt capesize built in 1997 by Daewoo. Her ClassNK registry, last updated in June of 2015, lists her owner as Olympus Ventures and her management company as New Shipping Limited.