In case you forgot about Ever Given, it was the container ship that blocked the Suez canal for 6 whole days while other ships waited for it to be freed. The blockage caused delays in every product possible ranging from oil to foods to clothing and even computer stuff. The sad part was that even though the ship was eventually freed from the canal it was still taken in by the Suez Canal Authority.
But those days of imprisonment are finally over. Japanese shipowner, Shoei Kisen and the SCA have finally struck a deal after months of going back and forth. Both parties signed a final compensation deal that freed the container ship from its chains. Finally Ever Given can go home and this matter can be laid to rest. The deal was signed in a ceremony attended by ambassadors and the international media.
The ceremony consisted of SCA chief Osama Rabie signing a final deal with the representatives of Ever Given’s owner. Rabie said that “I announce to the world that we have reached a deal”. The ceremony was held live on Egypt’s state television channels. Rabie pushed really hard to get the ship freed in the days when it was stuck in the Suez Canal. We remember him saying that “We were facing a tough test with the world watching” when the ship was finally freed.
This ceremony came after the SCA announced last month that they had signed a non-disclosure agreement with the Shoei Kisen in regards to their final deal. According to Khaled Abou Bakr, a lawyer heading the negotiation team of the SCA “I can unequivocally state that we preserved the full rights of the Authority”. The SCA detained the ship on grounds that it was the ship’s fault that the canal got blocked.
That’s a bit of a stretch considering the ship was blocked because of a sandstorm that made navigation harder. The shipowner said that the SCA was responsible for the huge 400 m long vessel grounding in the first place. The stance Shoei Kisen and its lawyers went for, was that the ship should have been accompanied by at least two tug boats suitable for the ship’s size for the transit during stormy conditions.
While the exact details of the deal are secret, Rabie did say that Egypt would receive a 75-tonne tugboat from Shoei Kisen as part of the deal and also noted that the family of one rescue worker who died during the salvage operation will also be compensated. According to him “The Suez canal has always been a site of sacrifices since it was built”.