Ever Given to cross Suez Canal for the first time since blocking the waterway in March

Zeinab El-Gundy , Thursday 19 Aug 2021

the Ever Given is in east Mediterranean Sea and is expected to reach Port Said Thursday evening, according to vessel and marine tracking websites

Ever Given
File photo: 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

The Ever Given ship, which blocked navigation through the Suez Canal for nearly a week in March, is expected to begin transiting Egypt’s canal in the upcoming hours.

Currently, the Ever Given is in east Mediterranean Sea and is expected to reach Port Said Thursday evening, according to vessel and marine tracking websites.

According to sources in the Suez Canal Authority that spoke to Egyptian media, the Japanese-owned cargo vessel will cross the canal on Friday accompanied by two tug boats.

This will be the 22nd time the Panama-flagged vessel has crossed the Suez Canal since its manufacture in 2018.

The Ever Given ran aground and blocked Egypt’s Suez Canal in March for nearly a week until it was refloated on 29 March by a fleet of Egyptian tugboats and diggers.

In July, Egypt allowed the Japanese-owned ship to leave Egyptian waters, where the vessel had been seized for around 100 days, after signing a settlement agreement with the ship owner.

The settlement followed a legal dispute where Egypt asked for $550 million in compensation, down from $916 million, to cover salvage efforts, reputational damage, and lost revenue.

The actual value of the compensation Egypt has received as per the settlement and the terms of the agreement have been kept confidential, but Egyptian officials said the deal has been satisfactory and preserves both parties’ mutual interests.

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