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Suez Canal: Egypt files multi-million pound compensation claim against owner of Ever Given

Egypt has filed a multi-million pound compensation claim against the owner of the container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week.

The Ever Given, owned by Japanese firm Shoei Kisen, ran aground in the canal on 23 March and was only freed six days later by a specialist rescue team.

The canal is the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia and, by the time the 400m long ship was dislodged, some 400 vessels were waiting in line, including container ships, bulk carriers, and oil tankers.

More had given up waiting and had been diverted around Africa.

The Ever Given’s protection and indemnity insurer, UK Club, said a “handful of claims” had been received and one of the claims was made by Egypt for $916m (£666m).

Around a third of this was for a “salvage bonus”, and another third for “loss of reputation”, the insurer said.

They added: “Despite the magnitude of the claim, which was largely unsupported, the owners and their insurers have been negotiating in good faith with the (Suez Canal Authority).”

Meanwhile, a source at the SCA confirmed a court order had been issued for the ship to be held while discussions continue, the Reuters news agency reported.

The Ever Given has been in a lake separating two sections of the canal since it was dislodged on March 29.

SCA chairman Osama Rabie told Egyptian TV that the ship would not leave until the investigation was finished and compensation paid.

Responding to this, UK Club said: “On 12 April, a carefully considered and generous offer was made to the SCA to settle their claim. We are disappointed by the SCA’s subsequent decision to arrest the vessel today.”

Results of the investigation are expected to be made public by the end of the week.

Mr Rabie also said the canal had borne “great moral damage” as well as shipping fee losses and salvage operation costs.

Yumi Shinohara, deputy manager with owner Shoei Kisen’s fleet management department, confirmed a compensation claim had been made but gave no further details.

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