Ever Given unshackled
The Ever Given will be released on Wednesday, 7 July after the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) and the Ever Given’s owners reached a compensation settlement for the six-day blockage of the canal in March, the authority told Bloomberg yesterday. The SCA said that a signing ceremony will be held on the same day before the ship is allowed to leave the Bitter Lake, where it has been detained by the SCA for almost three months.
The breakthrough was confirmed by ins. company UK P&I Club and law firm Stann Marine, which is representing the owner of the ship, Shoei Kisen, and its ins. companies. “Good progress has been made and a formal solution has now been agreed,” UK P&I Club said. “Preparations for the release of the vessel will be made and an event marking the agreement will be held at the Authority’s headquarters in Ismailia in due course.”
The details on the settlement are still being kept on the down low: Unconfirmed reports over the weekend suggested that Shoei Kisen has agreed to pay the SCA USD 540 mn, a substantial increase from the USD 150 mn it was reportedly holding out for. The SCA in May slashed its demands to USD 550 mn from USD 916 mn. The authority will also receive a new tugboat as part of the agreement.
Ismailia Economic Court will hold a hearing —which could be the last— on Ever Given compensation case next Sunday. Both SCA and the ship’s owners asked yesterday the Ismailia Economic Court to adjourn hearings in the compensation dispute to 11 July as they’re close to signing a final agreement “within days.”
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The Ever Given crisis didn’t dent the canal’s revenues: The Suez Canal brought in USD 3 bn during the first six months of the year, up almost 9% from the same period last year, SCA boss Osama Rabie told Al Kahera Wel Nas last night (watch, runtime: 7:58). Canal revenues totalled USD 1.45 bn, according to balance of payments figures released last week by the central bank. The canal is expected to bring in over USD 6 bn worth of revenues in 2021.