Egypt Impounds Ever Given Ship Stuck In Suez Canal, Demands $900 Million For Traffic Jam

Suez Canal Authority/HO/AFP via Getty Images

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Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) announced Tuesday that the Ever Given, a cargo ship that wedged itself in the canal late March, had been impounded pending $900 million in compensation.

The figure covers the costs of dislodging and maintaining the ship, along with the losses Egypt bore as a result of the six-day blockage, chairman of the SCA Osama Rabie told local outlet Al-Ahram.

The Panama-flagged cargo ship is owned by a Japanese firm Shoei Kisen. It got stuck Mar. 23 while carrying cargo worth more than $3.5 billion, the report says. The traffic jam, which severely stalled global commerce, was cleared Mar. 29, when a fleet of tugboats and diggers managed to refloat the 400-metre-long vessel. (RELATED: ‘The Boats Have Organized And Are Striking’: Boat Lands On Florida Highway, Blocking Traffic)

Shoei Kisen is reportedly contesting more than 90% of the payment sanctioned by an Egyptian court, as the talks continue. “They do not want to pay anything,” Rabie said in an interview to a local TV channel, according to Al-Ahram.

The Ever Given’s insurer, UK Club, said the SCA’s claim included $300 million for “loss of reputation” and $300 million for a “salvage bonus,” Reuters reported.

“Despite the magnitude of the claim, which was largely unsupported, the owners and their insurers have been negotiating in good faith with the SCA,” a statement issued by the UK Club reads, according to Reuters. “On 12 April, a carefully considered and generous offer was made to the SCA to settle their claim. We are disappointed by the SCA’s subsequent decision to arrest the vessel today.”

Refinitiv Tracking Data has previously estimated that the SCA lost less than $199 million in transit fees throughout the six-day jam, according to Insurance Marina News.