A settlement has been reached between the Suez Canal Authrity and the owners and insurers of the Ever Given that will finally see the container ship released and allowed to sail on July 7th.
The SCA has held the ship and its crew in a lake between two stretches of the waterway since it was dislodged on march 29th after becoming stuck and blocking the shipping Canal for a total of six days, leaving global trade heavily disrupted.
The container ship was being held amid a dispute over a demand for compensation by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA). A settlement has now been reached, with a contract due to be signed on Wednesday, July 7th, though no details of the settlement have been released.
The SCA had demanded $916 million in compensation to cover salvage efforts, reputational damage, and lost revenue, but this was later publicly lowered to $550 million.
“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,” said Faz Peermohamed of Stann Marine, a representative of the Ever Given’s owner Shoei Kisen and its insurers, in a statement issued earlier this week.
Osama Rabie, the SCA chairman said that the canal will receive a tug boat with a pulling capacity of about 75 tonnes as part of a settlement, without mentioning any other details.
The Japanese owned Ever Given had become stuck in high winds and found itself wedged across the Suez Canal back in March this year, disrupting global trade. It became the focus of a six day salvage effort, during which one person died.
Despite the Ever Given accident, the canal earned revenue of $3bn in the first six months of 2021, up 8.8 per cent compared to the same period last year, Rabie has said.
The Ever Given’s owners and insurers had previously disputed all claims for compensation as well as the ship’s detention under an Egyptian court order, but last month said that they had reached an agreement in principle.
On Sunday, July 4th, an Egyptian court adjourned hearings in the compensation dispute to July 11th to allow the canal and the ship’s owner to finalise the settlement.
The value of the goods inside the Ever Given’s 18,000 containers has been estimated at $775m. They include products for large multinational companies like Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo and Swedish furniture giant Ikea, as well as those for smaller businesses like UK-based clothing company Snuggy and bicycle maker Pearson 1860.