On Sunday, the owners of the Ever Given cargo ship, which ran aground in the Suez Canal, have reached an official settlement deal with the Suez Canal Authority regarding compensation for the waterway’s blockage in March, according to the vessel’s insurance company UK Club.
In late June, the involved parties reached an agreement in principle, however, the deal still had to be finalized so that the vessel could be released. Ever Given currently remains anchored in the Great Bitter Lake area, which is the widest section of the canal, with its 23-strong crew aboard.
“The UK Club is pleased to announce that, following the agreement in principle between the parties, and after further meetings with the Suez Canal Authority’s negotiating committee and numerous court hearings, good progress has been made and a formal solution has now been agreed.
Preparations for the release of the vessel will be made and an event marking the agreement will be held at the Authority’s headquarters in Ismailia in due course,” the insurance company said in a statement.
The 1,300-feet container ship Ever Given, operated by a Taiwanese firm, ran aground in the Suez Canal on March 23. After days of dredging and towing efforts, it was fully refloated on March 29, unblocking the vital trade link between Europe and Asia.
In April, an Egyptian court ruled to seize the cargo ship until the owner paid around $900 million in compensation to the SCA for salvage and maintenance expenses, as well as lost traffic fees for the six-day blockage. The vessel’s owners appealed the arrest of the ship and its cargo but lost the case.
Egypt had initially demanded over $900 million — a figure that was subsequently reduced to $550 million. Suez Canal said the compensation claim shall cover the cost of tugboats, dredgers, and labour hired to salvage the container ship as well as the loss of revenue while the Egypt canal was blocked.
Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., the owner, and the ship’s insurers both initially offered to only pay $150 million.
Ever Given has blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week in March and disrupted global shipping.