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Thursday, 15 April 2021

The Ever Given is good to go — once its owners settle their dues

The Ever Given container ship is fit to depart the Suez Canal once an agreement has been reached between the Suez Canal Authority and the ship’s owner, the German technical management company Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) said in a statement after making a “thorough inspection” of the vessel.

Plenty of disappointment to go around: “The SCA’s decision to arrest the vessel is extremely disappointing,” BSM CEO Ian Beveridge said, asking for “a swift resolution to this matter that will allow the vessel and crew to depart the Suez Canal.” This comes one day after the ship owners also announced their disappointment with the seizure of the ship.

This may take a while: Negotiations to reach a financial settlement “may take some time,” the SCA said yesterday, according to Reuters. The authority is demanding the owner’s insurer pay USD 916 mn to compensate it for the six-day blockage of the canal. The ship’s protection and indemnity insurer UK Club on Tuesday called the figure “extraordinarily large” and said it had made a “generous” offer to the SCA the day before the latter obtained a court order allowing it to seize the vessel. Two SCA sources told Reuters that the owner had offered USD 100 mn, almost 11% of the SCA’s claim. Chairman Osama Rabie earlier told state TV that “they don’t want to pay anything” for the incident.

One step at a time? The Ever Given’s charterer Evergreen Line is reviewing the Egyptian court order and “studying the possibility of the vessel and the cargo on board being treated separately,” according to a separate statement (pdf). When the vessel is eventually released, it will depart from the Great Bitter Lake — where it is currently anchored for inspection— to Port Said, where it will be examined again before leaving for Rotterdam, BSM said.

ALSO FROM THE CANAL-

An unnamed Chinese shipbuilding company will manufacture five tug boats for the Suez Canal Authority under a contract set to be signed soon.

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