An Egyptian economic court upheld on Tuesday a ruling to prevent the giant Ever Given ship that blocked the Suez Canal in March from leaving the country pending the payment of $900 million in compensation for the losses incurred by the blockage.
The court rejected a legal appeal by the ship owner against a ruling that granted the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) the request to impound the mega container ship as ongoing compensation talks lingered.
The Panama-flagged MV Ever Given, which is carrying cargo worth more than $3.5 billion, is owned by the Japanese firm Shoei Kisen and operated by a Taiwanese Evergreen Marine Corp.
The 400-metre-long ship, which had run aground across the canal on 23 March and refloated on 29 March, remains idle in the Bitter Lakes, a wide stretch of water halfway between the north and south ends of the canal, where an investigation into the incident has been ongoing.
A fleet of tugboats and diggers, with the assistance of the tide, managed to refloat the vessel, whose bow had been firmly lodged into the canal sandy bank, causing a huge build-up of vessels at the strategic waterway.
The Ever Given’s protection and indemnity (P&I) insurer, UK Club, said last month it was “disappointed” by what it described as the arrest of the vessel despite a “carefully considered and generous offer” made to the SCA.
It did not provide details on the offer it has submitted to the SCA.
It said the SCA has not provided a detailed justification for this “extraordinarily large claim”, which it said includes a $300 million claim for a “salvage bonus” and a $300 million claim for “loss of reputation”.