Ever Given Sets Sail after USD 550 Million Settlement Deal
The huge container ship MV Ever Given which blocked the Suez Canal for six days in March finally steamed out of the waterway on July 7 after Egypt and the vessel's Japanese owners signed a compensation deal. The ship earlier weighed anchor and set sail north from near the central canal city of Ismailia towards the Mediterranean Sea
The nearly 200,000-tonne container vessel became wedged across the canal during a sandstorm on March 23, blocking a vital artery from Asia to Europe that carries 10 percent of global maritime trade and provides Egypt with vital revenues. After a round-the-clock salvage operation to dislodge it, Egypt seized the ship and demanded compensation from owners Shoei Kisen Kaisha for lost canal revenues, salvage costs and damage to the canal.
Cairo initially demanded USD 916 million in compensation before slashing that to around USD 550 million, but the final figure was the subject of tough negotiations. Egypt, which earns more than USD 5 billion a year from the canal, lost between USD 12 million and USD 15 million in revenues each day it was closed. The ship's grounding and the intensive efforts to refloat it also resulted in significant damage to the canal.