Suez Canal

A huge container ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal in March has disrupted global trade. It is now finally leaving the waterway as Egypt has signed a compensation deal with its owners and the insurers.

Witnesses say that this Even Given weighted anchored after 11:30 local time. It is also heading north towards the Mediterranean. Tugs have escorted it. This ship impounded for three long months near Ismailia.

The terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed. However, Egypt has demanded $550m. The 193 km Suez Canal is connecting the Mediterranean Sea at the northern end of the canal to the Red Sea in the south. At the same time, it provides the shortest sea link within Asia and Europe.

But the vital waterway faced the block as a 400m long Ever Given became wedged across the canal. It was running aground against the high winds. Global trade facing disruption as hundreds of ships stuck in sea traffic.

This container ship refloated after the six-day of the salvage operations. It involved a flotilla of tug boats and dredging vessels. One person has died during this operation.

Since then, the Suez Canal Authority has been seeking compensation from the owner of Ever Given, Shoei Kisen. The compensation includes the costs for the salvage operation and the damage done to the canal banks, and other losses.

The SCA has initially asked for at least $916m compensation with $300m for the salvage bonus. Also, it includes $300m for the loss of reputation. But the UK Club has insured Shoei Kisen for the third-party liabilities. It has rejected the claim describing the “extraordinarily large” and “largely unsupported.”

The SCA has lowered its demand to $550m. The final settlement didn’t reveal. Speaking at the signing ceremony, the SCA lawyer Khalid Abubakr said the authority committed to keeping the confidentiality of the agreement.

The vessel with an Indian crew still has a load of 18300 containers. It is due to the safety checks at the Port Said before the sailing to Rotterdam, then to the UK port of Felixstowe, where it will offload the containers.

Credits: BBC

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