Stranded container ship Ever Given, one of the world's largest container ships, is seen after it ran aground, in Suez Canal, Egypt March 26, 2021. REUTERS
Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) announced on Sunday that it will sign a settlement agreement on Wednesday with the owner of the Ever Given ship, which ran aground and blocked Egypt’s Suez Canal in March.
In a short statement, the SCA invited journalists to attend the signing of the settlement on Wednesday, followed by a press conference.
The ship will be allowed to depart the Suez following the signing of the agreement.
The UK Club – which insured the giant vessel – announced two weeks ago that an initial agreement was reached between the SCA and its owners after weeks of negotiations.
A representative of the owners and insurers of the Ever Given told Reuters on Sunday that a formal settlement had been agreed to with the canal authority to allow the vessel to be released.
The SCA has held the giant ship and its crew in a lake between two stretches of the waterway since it was dislodged on March 29, amid a dispute over a demand for compensation by the SCA.
The Japanese-owned Ever Given became stuck in high winds and remained wedged across the canal for six days, disrupting global trade.
"Preparations for the release of the vessel will be made and an event marking the agreement will be held at the Authority's headquarters in Ismailia in due course," Faz Peermohamed of Stann Marine, which represents owner Shoei Kisen and its insurers, said in a statement.
Earlier on Sunday an Egyptian court adjourned hearings in the compensation dispute to July 11 to allow the canal and the ship's owner to finalise a settlement, court sources and a lawyer said.
Shoei Kisen and its insurers said last month they had reached an agreement in principle with the SCA.
The SCA had demanded $916 million in compensation to cover salvage efforts, reputational damage and lost revenue before publicly lowering the request to $550 million.
Shoei Kisen and the ship's insurers had disputed the claim and the ship's detention under an Egyptian court order.