The blockage of the Suez Canal by the stranded container ship Ever Given has prompted new international efforts to find an alternative to the world’s most important maritime corridor.
UN officials are reportedly reviewing plans to build a new canal along the Egypt-Israel border, having previously dismissed ideas of a much longer route through Iraq and Syria as being too dangerous.
The blockade of the Suez Canal is estimated to have cost hundreds of millions of pounds and threatens Europe’s vital supply chains from Asia, from rolls of toilet paper and iPhones to take-out and food. EAR.
The UN had previously commissioned a feasibility study from the international tunneling company OFP Lariol, which estimated that “Suez 2” could be dredged within five years.
The channel would pass in an almost straight line into the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea.
“Technology has evolved considerably since the excavation of the first canal in the 1850s,” said study author Iver Shovel.
“Another problem is the slight drop in sea level in the Mediterranean that can occur once we flood the new channel, which could lead to increasingly long beaches.”
The Foreign Ministry said it was aware of the plans, which are overseen by the United Nations committee for trade routes uniting economies.
Sources said the UK would be ready to play a leading role in any plans to ‘raise the level of the region and build back better’.
“We have the expertise and could share our preliminary designs for the proposed tunnel links to Northern Ireland,” said an official, who also highlighted the Prime Minister’s success in large-scale infrastructure projects.
Another alternative considered by the UN is to recreate an ancient passage to the Nile from the Red Sea.
“It’s an exciting idea,” said Mo Sez, a regional water division management expert, whose staff is managing a feasibility study of the region.
Although marine engineers have warned that the river will not have the “megaship” capacity of 20,000 containers such as the Ever Given, moving cargo to small-boat flotillas could provide a modern solution.
Felucca operators could carry up to 28% of Suez’s cargo volumes, or less. Camel trains would be on hold if water levels in the Nile drop.
Asked about the feasibility of such a system, a spokesperson said, “Do you see these pyramids? We built them, didn’t we?