Egypt may seek $1 billion compensation for Suez Canal blockage

The Ever Given ship had ran aground at the canal on March 23, blocking global trade for nearly a week

Ever Given
The ship got stuck diagonally at the canal during a sandstorm in the crucial waterway on March 23 | File Photo: Twitter

Days after the giant Ever Given container ship was freed after it ran aground at Suez Canal, thereby blocking global trade for a week and impacting the markets, Egypt said it may seek a compensation of around $1 billion. However, it did not say from whom the compensation would be sought from.

The statement was made by the Suez Canal Authority’s chief executive Osama Rabie on Wednesday evening while speaking to local television channel Sada Elbalad, according to Boomberg. He said the figure reflects the rough estimate of losses in transit fees, damages incurring during dredging efforts, equipment charges, and labour.

Pointing out that the incident had hurt Egypt’s reputation, he said it is the right of Egypt to seek compensation and that it should get its due.

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The Ever Given ship, which is a whopping 400-metre-long, had ran aground at the canal on March 23 and could be freed only last Monday. It got stuck diagonally at the canal during a sandstorm in the crucial waterway, creating a massive traffic jam of over 350 vessels.

The ship and its cargo together worth $3.5 billion, according to Rabie, who said the ship could be held in Egypt if the matter gets into legal trouble. However, that may not happen since Egypt has had a long relationship with the ship owner, he said.

Related news | $10bn a day: Value of goods stuck due to Suez blockage

Mohamed Bahaa, Evergreen’s agent in Egypt, said it is unlikely that there’ll be any financial dispute between the canal authorities and Evergreen, since no such issue has ever arisen in the past 40 years. Evergreen Marine Corp, the Taiwanese firm chartering the giant vessel, has said it is not responsible for any delay of the cargo.

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