Ever Given Container Ship That Blocked Suez Canal Sets Sail After Owner Pays Compensation
Egyptian authorities seized the ship after it was stuck in the waterway for several days in March 2021.
The container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for days earlier this year set sail Wednesday after its owners reached a multimillion-dollar compensation deal with Egyptian authorities for its release, ending a monthslong saga involving passage through a critical global trade route.
The Suez Canal Authority and representatives of the Ever Given’s owners signed the deal at its headquarters in Ismailia early Wednesday.
The SCA didn’t provide details of the agreement that allowed the ship to leave the canal. Its chairman, Osama Rabie, said that the negotiations concluded in “a fair deal” for both sides. He added that the authority has already been paid a large part of the compensation amount with the rest to be paid later this month.
In a nod to how the ship’s grounding and eventual seizure by Egyptian authorities caught the world’s attention, the SCA held a ceremony to mark the ship’s departure from the port in Ismailia that was attended by foreign diplomats and broadcast live on Egyptian TV.
The ship blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week in March before being dislodged from its banks. The SCA had demanded payment for the costs of the rescue operation, damages to the canal’s banks and lost revenues. An Egyptian court, which had ordered the seizure of the ship after authorities initially claimed about $900 million in compensation, allowed its release on Tuesday.