- The Ever Given is on the brink of release after 71 days, according to the ship’s insurers.
- The ship’s owners have reached an agreement in principle with the Suez Canal Authority.
- The ship got stuck in March, was freed, but was then impounded while Egypt sought compensation.
A Business Insider news source by Mia Jankowicz says that the Ever Given’s owners have struck a deal with Egypt to free the ship months after it was seized.
Ever Given’s owners reached an agreement
The Ever Given’s owners have reached an agreement in principle with the Suez Canal Authority for the release of the ship, the ship’s insurers announced Wednesday.
The massive container ship caused an international shipping crisis at the end of March, when it grounded in Egypt’s Suez Canal, blocking the crucial trade route.
The efforts to free the ship lasted six days, involving excavators, tugboats, specialized dredgers, and help from a high tide in a spectacle that captivated the world’s media.
Even after being unstuck, it was never allowed to leave the canal. First it was held for inspections, then on April 13 Egypt impounded the ship, demanding compensation.
Settlement agreement to be signed
It has been held in the Great Bitter Lake, a body of water off the canal, where it has waited with most of its crew on board while the parties negotiate.
The ship’s insurers, the UK Club, released a statement Wednesday saying the ship’s owners — the Japanese company Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd — and the SCA were working “to finalize a signed settlement agreement as soon as possible” that will lead to the release of the vessel.
The ship is still crewed by 25 Indian sailors, eight of whom have been flown in to replace seafarers released on compassionate grounds or on the completion of their contracts, Abulgani Serang, spokesperson for the sailors’ union NUSI, told Insider.
Agreement is a fantastic news
Serang said that the agreement is “fantastic news” for the sailors and their families.
Egypt’s demands for compensation started at nearly $1 billion but have steadily reduced as time passed.
The UK Club has been skeptical of the scope of the demand, a view that was reflected by some insurance-industry insiders, Lloyd’s List reported.
The UK Club continued to object after it was reduced to $600 million.
Egypt asked for $550 million
Most recently, Egypt asked for $550 million on the condition that $200 million of that be paid upfront, the Egyptian newspaper Ahram Online reported.
It is unclear what the current agreement in principle entails.
The SCA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
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Source: Business Insider