A giant freighter that blocked the Suez Canal last month is held up in the waterway as authorities pursue a $ 916 million compensation claim against its owner, according to the vessel’s insurer.
The UK Club, an Ever Given insurer, said in a statement Tuesday that the ship’s Japanese owners received a claim from the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), which runs the canal, on April 7. The claim includes $ 300 million for “losses.” reputation “.
The company said a “generous offer” was made to the SCA to resolve its claim on Monday, without giving further details on the amount.
“We are disappointed by the subsequent decision of the SCA to stop the vessel today,” the company statement added.
The ship ran aground in the narrow man-made canal that divides mainland Africa from the Asian Sinai peninsula on March 23. Salvage crews released the ship nearly a week later, ending a crisis that had paralyzed one of the world’s most important waterways and set back $ 9 billion in global trade a day.
The SCA declined to comment when approached by NBC News on Tuesday, saying it will make an official statement Thursday.
SCA President Osama Rabie said on Egyptian television last week that Ever Given would not leave until the investigation was completed and compensation was paid, Reuters reported. He said the channel had suffered “great moral damage” as well as losses in shipping fees and salvage operating costs, adding that he hoped to resolve things amicably.
A spokesperson for the ship’s Japanese owner, Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., told NBC News by phone Wednesday that the company was informed of the compensation money requested by the SCA and that they are currently negotiating the figure.
Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, which runs Ever Given, also said they were informed by the ship’s owner that the Suez Canal Authority initiated proceedings against the ship, calling the decision “extremely disappointing.”
The company said the ship’s crew has fully cooperated with the canal authority’s investigation into the shore connection, giving them access to the voyage data recorder and other requested materials.
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The company added that the ship has been inspected and cleared to sail to Port Said at the northern end of the canal, where it will be re-assessed before departing for Rotterdam in the Netherlands, its original destination.
The ship remains anchored in Great Bitter Lake, a wide stretch of water midway between the north and south end of the canal, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement said.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed.