Egyptian authorities and Japan's Shoei Kisen Kaisha finally reached an agreement on compensations for Suez canal lost revenues and the cost of salvaging a huge vessel that blocked the crucial waterway linking Asia with Europe.
The MV Ever Given vessel was retained by Egypt since it blocked the Suez Canal in March and according to the deal should be released on Wednesday, July 7. The MV Ever Given with a deadweight tonnage of 199,000 - got stuck diagonally across the canal during a sandstorm on Mar 23, blocking the trade artery for six days before salvage teams could dislodge it.
The Suez Canal Authority said in a statement that a ceremony would be held on Wednesday to mark the signing of an agreement with the owners and the departure of the ship. However the statement that was issued on Sunday did not disclose the amount of compensation.
Anyhow, the Suez Canal Authority admits having lost between US$ 12/15 million in revenue for each day the waterway was closed. Besides the grounding of the ship and the intensive salvage efforts needed to refloat it also resulted in significant damage to the canal. The Suez Canal generates some US$ 5,4 billion annually to Egypt.
A member of the London-based Stann Marine law firm which represents the owners and insurers of the Ever Given confirmed in a statement that preparations were underway for its release.
Last week, Suez Canal Authority chief Osama Rabie said Egypt had signed a non-disclosure agreement with the owners of the Ever Given as it finalized the compensation agreement. Initially, Egypt had sought hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation but it later slashed its initial claim of US$900 million to US$550 million.
The Taiwanese-operated and Panama-flagged ship was moved to a non obstructive anchorage in the Suez Canal after it was freed on Mar 29, and tailbacks totaling 420 vessels at the northern and southern entrances to the canal were cleared in early April.