Canal authorities have announced they’ve signed a non-disclosure deal ahead of a final compensation agreement over the incident which saw more than 360 ships gridlocked waiting to use the waterway that sees 12% of global trade every day
Egypt is close to finalising a compensation deal with the Japanese owners of the Ever Given container ship that ran aground and blocked the Suez Canal for six days in March.
A canal authority chief has revealed they have this week signed a non-disclosure agreement with Shoei Kisen Kaisha ahead of putting pen to paper on a finished deal.
Egypt has been seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation from the Japanese firm for lost canal revenues and the costs of salvaging the ship and repairing the damage to the canal.
It slashed its initial claim for $900 million to $550 million late last month but the final amount has been the subject of tough negotiations between the two sides.
“A final deal is expected to be reached and announced in the middle of next week,” Suez Canal Authority chief Osama Rabie told Egypt’s DMC television channel on Wednesday.
One of the vessel’s insurers, UK Club, said an agreement in principle had already been reached and the two sides were now working to finalise a signed agreement as soon as possible.
The 200,000-tonne MV Ever Given got stuck diagonally across the canal during a sandstorm on March 23, blocking the vital trade artery for six days before salvage teams could dislodge it.
Egypt lost between $12 million and $15 million in revenues for each day the waterway was closed, according to the canal authority.
The grounding of the ship and the intensive salvage efforts needed to refloat it also resulted in significant damage to the canal, which Egypt wants to be compensated for.
Last month, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi approved a major expansion of the canal to avoid future blockages.
- Reporting by AFP