- Egypt has reduced its $916 million compensation claim for the grounding of the Ever Given.
- The head of the Suez Canal Authority said they would now seek around $600 million.
- 48 days after the ship was unstuck from the canal, it had still hardly moved.
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Egypt offered to drop $300 million from its claim against the owners of the Ever Given container ship, according to local media reports.
The change would drop the amount demanded from $916 million to about $600 million. Egypt is seeking damages over the six-day blockage the ship caused in the Suez Canal in late March.
The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) later impounded the ship in while its claim is taking place. It has been stationary in the Great Bitter Lake, a body of water along the canal some 30 miles from where the ship was stuck.
Soon after the ship was freed, the SCA announced it would be seeking $916 million in compensation for the grounding, listing costs including $300 million in salvage and an unspecified amount for “loss of reputation.”
On Friday SCA chief Osama Rabie told the Al Hekaya talk show on MBC Masr that the body would reduce its claim, according to Egyptian magazine Egypt Today.
Insurers for Ever Given’s owners challenged the $916 million claim almost immediately.
The UK Club, representing Japanese company Shoei Kisen Kaisha, described the claim as “largely unsupported,” arguing that the SCA had not provided a detailed justification.
The UK Club said it made a “carefully considered and generous offer” on April 12, but the SCA had turned it down. The size of the offer has not been made public.
Shoei Kisen Kaisha made several moves attempting to limit its losses. In mid-April, it declared “general average” — a mechanism that shares losses between the owners and its cargo clients.
It also set up a limitation fund — a legal entity that can cap some claims against it, specifying a maximum of $115 million. It is unclear whether that mechanism will in practice reduce its liabilities.
In the meantime, only a handful of the ship’s crew have been able to leave. The SCA has denied holding the crew against their will, but has insisted that a minimum crew remain on board to manage it while impounded.
Egypt has opened a formal investigation into how the ship got stuck, but has not announced a date for any conclusions.