A mega-ship that blocked Egypt’s Suez Canal and paralyzed world trade for almost a week was “confiscated” by court order until the shipowners paid $ 900 million, the canal authorities said on Tuesday.
MV Ever Given was confiscated for failing to pay $ 900 million in compensation. The chief of the Suez Canal Authority, Osama Rabie, was quoted by Al-Ahram, a state newspaper.
The Japanese-owned, Taiwan-operated and flagged under Panama ship got stuck diagonally in a sandstorm in the narrow but crucial artery of global trade on March 23, launching a mammoth six-day attempt by Egyptian personnel and international salvage specialists to get it to remove .
A mega-ship that blocked Egypt’s Suez Canal and paralyzed world trade for almost a week was “confiscated” by court order until the shipowners paid $ 900 million, the canal authorities said on Tuesday
MV Ever Given was confiscated for failing to pay $ 900 million in compensation. The chief of the Suez Canal Authority, Osama Rabie, was quoted by Al-Ahram, a state newspaper
Maritime data company Lloyd’s List said the blockade has delayed an estimated $ 9.6 billion worth of cargo between Asia and Europe every day.
The canal is vital economically to Egypt, which, according to the Canal Authority, lost between $ 12 million and $ 15 million in revenue for each day the waterway was closed.
The $ 900 million in indemnity was calculated based on “losses to the grounded ship, as well as flotation and maintenance costs, according to an Ismailia Commercial Court ruling,” Rabie added.
He did not specifically quote Japanese owner Shoei Kisen Kaisha, but another source at SCA said Tuesday that negotiations over damage between that company, insurance companies and the Canal Authority were ongoing.
The amount of compensation includes the cost of the salvage operation, the lost transit fees and the cost of ceasing all traffic in the canal
Ever Given is now about halfway down a lake called Bitter Lake, the SCA is investigating. All of the ship’s crew are reportedly cooperating and have offered any logs or information they requested
In its judicial filing, the SCA referred to Articles 59 and 60 of Egypt’s Maritime Trade Act, which stipulate that the ship should remain confiscated until the amount has been paid in full, Al-Ahram said.
MV Ever Given was relocated to an unobstructed anchorage in Bitter Lake after its release on March 29, and in early April congestion from a total of 420 ships at the northern and southern entrances of the canal were cleared.
According to official figures, the Suez Canal brought in just over $ 5.7 billion in Egypt in the 2019/20 financial year.
The ship was trapped for six days before authorities finally managed to release it during a tug and dredger operation
On Thursday, the ship’s technical director, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, announced in an email that the ship’s crew had been working with the authorities in their investigations, which led to the ship running aground.
They said that Suez Canal Authority investigators gained access to the Voyage Data Recorder, also known as a ship’s black box.
The news was revealed by Rabei during a telephone interview with the government-run broadcaster Sada Elbalad on March 31st.
He said the canal authority would ask for $ 1 billion (£ 722 million) in compensation for the six-day delay.
“It is the law of the country,” said Rabei, without specifying who would be responsible for paying the compensation.
The Suez Canal is one of the busiest shipping routes in the world as it creates the shortest distance for ships from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic in around 16 hours
It is expected that either Japanese company Shoei Kisen Kaisha, which owns Ever Given, which is labeled under Panama, or Taiwanese company Evergreen Marine Corp, which charted the ship, will be liable for the compensation.
But Evergreen Marine Corp has said the accident is not their responsibility and doubts they will be asked for compensation.
Rabei said that in the past, the canal authorities and shipowners have had a good relationship.
Two Egyptian canal pilots were on board when the ship got stuck.
Such an arrangement is common for guiding ships through the narrow waterway, but the ship’s captain, according to experts, retains ultimate authority.
The ship was trapped for six days before authorities finally managed to release it on Monday.
The Ever Given is now about halfway down the channel in a lake called Bitter Lake, according to the SCA research.
All of the ship’s crew are reportedly cooperating and have offered any logs or information they requested.
The other option would have been to sail to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, a trip that could take around 24 days, or use the Arctic Shipping Root, which would add 35 days to the trip
On the way: The Ever Given was on its way back into the Suez Canal on Monday, March 29, and was tugged for a long distance by tugs almost a week after being trapped in a blockade that strangled world trade on the Egyptian coast Piece of water drawn
The amount of compensation includes the cost of the salvage operation, lost transit fees and the cost of ceasing all traffic in the canal.
The Suez Canal is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world because it is the shortest distance ships have to travel from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic in about 16 hours.
The other options would be to sail the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, a trip that could take around 24 days, or use the arctic shipping root, which would add 35 days to the trip.
The Ever Given had jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal in strong winds early Tuesday, March 23, and stopped traffic on the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
Ever Given’s bow was permanently removed from the bank of the canal and towed up the waterway on Monday 29 March after tugs straightened the ship and dredgers sucked up large chunks of sand in an early morning operation.