An Egyptian economic court adjourned on Saturday the trial on the giant Ever Given containership that blocked Egypt’s strategic Suez Canal for six days in March to allow for further negotiations on the compensation value.
The Ismailia Economic Court of first instance postponed the hearing to 20 June upon the requests made by the lawyers representing the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) and the ship owner.
The lawyers said the postponement is meant to provide more time to reach an amicable solution to the ship crisis.
The 400-metre-long cargo vessel was impounded upon a previous court order pending compensation.
Saturday’s decision to delay the hearing came days after the district’s appeals chamber ruled that hearing an appeal against the impounding of the Ever Given does not fall within its jurisdiction.
The Ismailia Economic Court had ordered in April the mega-ship be impounded over financial disputes linked to a $916 compensation claim made by the SCA over the losses it incurred due to the blockage.
Shoei Kisen, the ship owner, filed an appeal against the impounding order.
The hearing came days after the SCA slashed its compensation claim of $916 million to $550 million to settle the current judicial dispute, with the mega-ship to be allowed to leave if nearly 40 percent of the sum is paid in cash.
The Ever Given’s insurers say the demanded sum is still too high, previously offering to pay $150 million in compensation for the six-day traffic halt.
The ship had run aground across the canal on 23 March and was refloated on 29 March by a fleet of Egyptian tug boats and diggers, with the assistance of the tide.
The vessel has since been anchored in a lake between two sections of the canal.