According To The Suez Canal, Agreement Has Been Made To Release Detained Vessel

CAIRO — The Suez Canal Authority said on Sunday that it had achieved a financial settlement with the owners of a massive container ship that had been blocking the vital canal for over a week earlier this year.

The authorities did not provide any information on the settlement agreement with Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., Ever Given’s Japanese owner. The agreement will be signed on Wednesday in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, according to the statement.

It was also announced that the vessel will be released on Wednesday.

Lt. Gen. Osama Rabie, the chairman of Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority, announced last month that the parties had reached an agreement on a compensation figure. However, he stated that it would not be made public since they had signed a non-disclosure agreement until the final deal was completed.

On March 23, the vessel ran aground in the canal’s single-lane section but was rescued six days later following a huge recovery attempt by a flotilla of tugboats.

Since its release, officials have ordered the Panama-flagged, Japanese-owned tanker, which transports goods between Asia and Europe, to remain in a holding lake mid-canal, along with the majority of its crew, while the two parties negotiate a resolution.

The dispute had centered on the amount of money the Suez Canal Authority is seeking for the vessel’s recovery.

The funds would be used to pay for the salvage effort, as well as the costs of stopped canal traffic and lost transit fees for the week that Ever Given was blocking the canal.

The Suez Canal Authority sought $916 million in compensation initially, but this was eventually reduced to $550 million.

The two parties have swapped blame for the ship’s grounding, with severe weather, canal authorities’ poor judgments, and human and technological mistake all being mentioned as probable causes.

The six-day blockade caused worldwide shipping to be interrupted. Hundreds of more ships waited for the canal to reopen, while others were forced to take the considerably longer journey around Africa’s southernmost point, the Cape of Good Hope, incurring additional fuel and other expenditures.

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