CAIRO (Reuters) – A ship that blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week in March is detained in the waterway as canal authorities file a $ 916 million claim against the Japanese shipowner, said one of the ship’s insurers and canal sources on Tuesday.
The Ever Given container ship owned by Shoei Kisen has been in a lake that separates two sections of the canal since the Suez was relocated on March 29 Canal Authority (SCA) is conducting investigations.
Two SCA sources who refused to be identified told Reuters that a court order had been issued to hold the ship. According to one source, negotiations on the claim were still ongoing.
The UK Club, &’s liability insurer (P&I) for Ever Given, said the channel’s claim included $ 300 million for a « salvage bonus » and $ 300 Million US dollars for ‘reputation loss’.
« Despite the scale of the claim, which was largely unsupported, the owners and their insurers have negotiated in good faith with the SCA, » the UK Club said in a statement / p> “On April 12th, the SCA was presented with a carefully considered and generous offer to settle its claim. We are disappointed with the subsequent decision by the SCA to arrest the ship today. “
The previous Tuesday, Yumi Shinohara, deputy manager of the fleet management department of the owner Shoei Kisen, confirmed that the canal had made a claim for damages and that the ship had not been given permission to leave, but did not provide any further details.The decision to hold the ship could have an impact on the cargo, said Jai Sharma, attorney at Clyde & Co. « I assume there will be companies that will replace cargo, » he said.
There was no immediate comment from the SCA, but agency chairman Osama Rabie said on Egyptian television last week that the Ever Given would not go until the investigation was completed and the compensation paid.
He said that the canal caused « great moral damage » as well as losses due to shipping costs and costs for salvage. He also said he hoped to settle the matter amicably.
The results of the SCA investigation were expected by the end of the week, according to SCA sources.
International supply chains got into disarray as the 400 meter long Ever Given ran aground in the canal on March 23 with 18,300 containers on board.
It took specialist rescue teams six days to free the ship, delaying the passage of more than 400 ships and causing others to relocate to Africa
Industry insiders told Reuters last week that reinsurers would pay most of the bill for grounding the ship.
When asked about the SCA’s claim, Sharma said, « It seems surprising that the claim can be quantified as quickly and with any accuracy. «
A lawyer at sea said that the shipowner would normally provide an agreed level of security that the ship and crew would allow rde to continue their path with a court that will later determine a final award. « Of course they’re hoping for cash in this case, » he said.
(Reporting by Yusri Mohamed in Ismailia, Yuka Obayashi in Tokyo, Jonathan Saul and Kirstin Ridley in London; writing by Aidan Lewis; editing by Jane Merriman and Mark Potter)
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