Egypt seizes vessel that blocked Suez Canal, seeks $900 million compensation

The huge ship, longer than four football fields put together, got diagonally stuck in the narrow global trade artery on March 23 and was removed only after six days of hectic efforts

As per one estimate, the bizarre incident stalled an estimated $9.6 billion-worth of cargo between Asia and Europe each day during the six-day blockage. | Photo: Twitter

Egypt has seized the 200,000-tonne megaship which blocked Suez Canal and crippled world trade for nearly a week. Following Egypt’s Ismailia Economic Court orders, the Japanese owners of ‘Ever Given’ have been asked to pay $900 million in compensation for the economic loss caused due to one-of-its-kind blockage of the world’s busiest commercial sea route that connects Europe to Asia.

The huge ship, longer than four football fields put together, got diagonally stuck in the narrow but crucial global trade artery in a sandstorm on March 23. It took six days for the Egyptian and international salvage specialists to unclog the trade route.

As per one estimate, the bizarre incident stalled an estimated $9.6 billion-worth of cargo between Asia and Europe each day during the six-day blockage. A total of 420 vessels at the northern and southern entrances to the canal could be cleared only by the first week of April. Egypt suffered a lost between $12 and $15 million in revenues for each day due to the closure, canal authorities said on Tuesday (April 13).

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The MV “Ever Given was seized due to its failure to pay $900 million” compensation, Suez Canal Authority chief Osama Rabie was quoted as saying by Al-Ahram, a state-run newspaper.

Also read: Egypt may seek $1 billion compensation for Suez Canal blockage

The Suez Canal authorities, vessel owners Shoei Kisen Kaisha and insurance companies are negotiating the damages and compensation amount, AFP reported on Tuesday.

The megaship, owned by a Japanese firm, operated by a Taiwanese company and flagged by a Panama group, was docked at Suez Canal’s Great Bitter Lake after it was freed on March 29.

Also read: $10bn a day: Value of goods stuck due to Suez blockage

Suez Canal Authority chief Osama Rabie said the $900 million compensation was calculated taking into account the losses caused by the stalled ship as well as the flotation and maintenance costs. The “mega block” is also reported to have caused major damage to the canal.

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