Canal-Blocking Ship, Crew Free to Go Wednesday After Compensation Deal

A settlement was reached Sunday in the compensation dispute that has kept one of the world’s largest container ships and its crew locked up on an Egyptian lake for more than three months.

On Wednesday, the settlement contract will be signed and the ship will finally be permitted to set sail. The Japanese-owned Ever Given went aground in the Suez Canal on March 23 and blocked the waterway for six days, disrupting global trade, before it was dislodged.

The ship was then moved to Great Bitter Lake, which is part of the canal that links the Mediterranean and Rea Seas, and kept there while the Egyptian government-owned Suez Canal Authority (SCA) demanded that the ship’s owners and insurers pay $916 million in compensation for salvage costs, reputational damage and lost revenue. The demand was subsequently lowered to $550 million.

No details were released on the terms of the final settlement. SCA Chairman Osama Rabie said Sunday that, despite the Ever Given accident, canal revenue was up 8.8% in the first six months of 2021 compared to the same period last year, and reached $3 billion.

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