Martin Croucher, 15 April 2021
The operator of a giant container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for a week after running aground last month has said that the Egyptian authorities “lack any detailed justification” for demanding almost $1 billion in compensation.
Evergreen Line, the Taiwan-based operator which chartered the Ever Given that blocked traffic in the Suez Canal when it became wedged across the busy sea lane on March 23, said on Wednesday that it is investigating the scope of an Egyptian court order for the vessel to be seized by authorities in Cairo. Ever Given caused a logjam of approximately 200 ships in the canal
The Suez Canal Authority, or SCA, filed the request for the confiscation of the ship, its crew and goods on board pending settlement of its claim for $916 million in compensation. An Egyptian court has granted the order.
Evergreen Line said the total included a $300 million charge for salvage costs and a $300 million claim for loss of reputation. “SCA’s claims are largely unsupported and lack any detailed justification,” it added.
The insurer of the vessel, UK P&I Club, said on Tuesday that it had made a “generous offer” to the canal authority, which was rejected. It said the claim filed by the canal authority was unjustified, because the grounding did not result in environmental pollution or injuries. The claim also does not include the costs from the professional team that salvaged the vessel, which underwriters expect to receive separately, the insurer said.