The attempts of tugging the stranded Ever Given vessel in Suez Canal- press photo
CAIRO – 30 May 2021: -Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority will hold a press conference this afternoon to give more details about the latest development of the negotiation over compensation claims from the owners of the stranded Panama-flagged ship MV EVER GIVEN in the Suez Canal, according to a statement by the authority.
The SCA negotiating team will speak, during the conference, about the process of negotiations with the shipowner (Japanese company Shoei Kisen Kaisha), and the legal situations of the two lawsuits filed regarding the decision of arresting the ship until paying the compensation claims.
The MV EVER GIVEN went aground on March 23, 2021, in the 151 km of the Suez Canal, where the vessels in both directions pass, causing the suspension of the international maritime navigation through the canal for six days. After it was freed on March 29, the ship was escorted to the Bitter Lakes for technical inspection, crew interrogation, and black box analysis.
Egypt has asked for $916 million in compensation for damages caused by the grounding of the ship, the salvage operation, and for loss of reputation. The situation complicated when an economic court in Ismailia governorate issued on April 13, 2021 a decision to officially arrest the ship until paying compensation.
After negotiation, the SCA reduced the compensation claims from $916 million to $600 million. However, SCA Chairperson Admiral Osama Rabie stated three days ago in a phone-in that the Japanese Company wants to reduce the compensation sum from $600 million to $150 million.
In his meeting with Panamanian ambassador to Egypt Alejandro Gante and Director General of the Panamanian Maritime Authority Rafael Cigarruista on May 25, Admiral Rabie said that the authority has provided facilities, revealing that “the value of the compensation requested by the Authority is about 550 million dollars, provided that 200 million USD shall be paid in advance, while the remaining 350 million USD are paid as letters of guarantee issued by an "A class" bank in Egypt.”
The admiral also revealed that the ship caused damages to a number of participating marine units and the sinking of one of SCA tugging boat during the salvage operations, resulting in the death of an employee, as well as the material and moral damages that the reputation of the Suez Canal has sustained by the suspension of navigation traffic.
Regarding the legal situation of the case, the Ismailia Economic Court of First Instance on Saturday adjourned the hearing to June 20, 2021 to allow further settlement discussions to take place between the parties, the Insurance company UK P&I said in a statement on Saturday.
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