CAIRO – Egyptian authorities are demanding $ 900 million in compensation after the blockade of the Suez Canal at the end of March; and the container ship that caused the obstruction has been seized in the meantime, the government owned daily Al-Ahram reported on Tuesday.
On Monday evening, the head of the Suez Canal Authority – SCA had reported on public television ‘negotiations’ to obtain compensation for the damage suffered when Ever Given was stuck nearly a week across the canal, crippling traffic on this crucial seaway.
Egypt made ‘no mistake’ in this incident, he said – blaming the ship management.
“The negotiations are continuing, there are still many points (of stumbling block) with the company and the insurance, starting with the ‘sum,” revealed Admiral Ossama Rabie.
A source within the SCA confirmed negotiations with the Japanese company Shoei Kisen – the owner of the ship, and insurance companies.
Al-Ahram, on Tuesday quoted the Admiral indicating that his country wanted a payment of $ 900 million in compensation.
“The Panamanian ship Ever Given was seized due to the non-payment of the sum of $ 900 million by virtue of a judgment rendered by the economic court of Ismailia,” he said.
The amount corresponds, according to the same source, to ‘losses caused by the boat to the Authority in addition to its refloating and maintenance operations.’
Traffic on the canal, which accounts for more than 10 percent of world trade, resumed on March 29 after the ship was refloated with the help of international experts.
More than 400 ships had been stranded north and south of the isthmus for six days, forming gigantic traffic jams.
Flying the Panamanian flag, the ship, which is equivalent to four football fields, has since been stationed in the Great Amer Lake, in the middle of the canal.
According to SCA, Egypt lost between $12 – 15 million per day the canal was closed.
One of its main sources of income, the passage brought in around $ 5.7 billion in Cairo in 2019-2020.
According to insurer Allianz, each day of downtime resulted in overall losses of six to 10 billion dollars.