Ismailia, Egypt — Egyptian officials announced on Wednesday the release of a huge vessel that had blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week earlier this year.
Evergiven has left the canal of Great Bitter Lake. It was held there for more than three months in a financial dispute. This development took place after Japanese owner Shoei Kisen Kaisha Co., Ltd. reached a settlement with the canal authorities over compensation after weeks of negotiations and court standoffs.
The settlement agreement was signed on Wednesday at a ceremony in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, after which the ship was seen sailing towards the Mediterranean Sea. An Associated Press video journalist on a tugboat saw a representative of the Suez Canal move north towards the Mediterranean when ship owners and insurance companies traded in Ismailia. It was.
Lieutenant General Osama Labay, head of the Suez Canal, said, “We have reached an agreement to achieve justice and prioritize the interests of both parties.” “It ended the crisis that lasted more than three months.”
Shoei Kisen Kaisha announced that it will conduct a diving survey in Port Said, the Mediterranean city of Egypt, resume voyages to the next port, and discharge cargo.
The release on Wednesday took place the day after the Egyptian court lifted the judicial foreclosure of the ship after being notified that the Suez Canal Authority had reached a settlement between the ship owner and the insurance company.
Authorities did not provide details of the terms of the settlement. Initially, the Suez Canal Authority demanded $ 916 million in compensation, but was later reduced to $ 550 million. In addition to the money, the canal also receives tugboats, according to local reports.
According to canal officials, the money covered the cost of rescue operations, canal traffic stagnation, and the loss of six days of transportation costs Evergiven was blocking important waterways.
On March 23, a Panama-flagged ship crashed into a one-lane shore of a canal about 6 km (3.7 miles) north of the south entrance on its way to Rotterdam Port in the Netherlands. Suez.
The bow touched the eastern wall of the canal, but the stern appeared to be caught on the western wall. Experts said they had never heard of what happened in the canal’s 150-year history.
A large-scale rescue operation by a tugboat fleet, helped by the ebb and flow of the tide, releases skyscraper-sized vessels after six days, ending the crisis and allowing hundreds of waiting vessels to cross the canal. Did.
The closure of the Suez Canal forced some ships to take a long alternative route around the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa, requiring additional fuel and other costs. Hundreds of other ships were waiting for the blockage to end.
The shutdown, which caused supply shortages and concerns about rising consumer costs, put a strain on the shipping industry, which was already under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic.
Sammy Maddy and Mohamed Salah