The Japanese owner of the container ship which had blocked the Suez Canal confirmed, Wednesday, April 14, to be in negotiations with the Egyptian authorities, who are demanding $ 900 million from him to let the boat leave, which was seized.
TheEver-Given, with a capacity of 200,000 tonnes, ran aground on March 23, blocking traffic on the canal, which concentrates more than 10% of world trade, before being refloated on March 29, with the help of international experts. Monday, the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram revealed that Egypt is claiming 900 million dollars in compensation (about 750 million euros). The fate of the boat is played out “Now in the legal field”, said the spokesperson for the owner, Shoei Kisen, on Wednesday.
According to the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), Egypt lost between $ 12 million and $ 15 million per day of the closure of the canal, used by 19,000 vessels in 2020, an average of 51.5 vessels per day. One of its main sources of income, the passage brought in around $ 5.7 billion in Cairo in 2019-2020.
Compensate for losses generated
On Monday evening, the head of the SCA had reported on public television “Negotiations” with a view to obtaining compensation for the damage suffered. Egypt did not commit ” no mistake “ in this incident, according to him, making bear the only responsibility to the ship. “The negotiations are continuing, there are still a lot of points [d’achoppement] with the company and the insurance ”, starting with the “Sum”, Admiral Osama Rabie said.
” Vessel [battant pavillon] Panamanian Ever-Given was seized due to non-payment of the sum of $ 900 million (…) by virtue of a judgment rendered by the Ismailia Economic Court ”, he said. The amount corresponds, according to the same source, to “Losses caused by the boat at the SCA, in addition to its refloating and maintenance operations”.
More than 400 ships had been stranded north and south of the isthmus for six days, forming gigantic traffic jams which took several days to resolve.