Transport

Ever Given container ship set to leave Suez Canal

FILE PHOTO - Ship Ever Given, one of the world's largest container ships, is seen after it was fully floated in Suez Canal, Egypt March 29, 2021. REUTERS-Mohamed Abd El Ghany-File Photo

The container ship that blocked the Suez Canal in March and has been detained there since is due to finally resume its journey on Wednesday after the owner and insurers reached a compensation settlement with the canal authority.

One of the world’s largest container ships, the Ever Given became wedged diagonally across a single-lane stretch of the canal for six days, disrupting global trade.

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) demanded more than $900 million in compensation for the salvage operation and other losses, later lowered to $550 million. It held the ship under court order as it pursued the claim, creating a dispute with the ship’s insurers and Japanese owner Shoei Kisen.

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The ship and its Indian crew have been anchored for more than three months in the Great Bitter Lake, between two stretches of the canal.

After protracted negotiations, an undisclosed settlement between the parties was reached and the SCA announced that the ship would be released on Wednesday.

A ceremony is due to be held at the canal to mark the departure of the vessel, which is loaded with about 18,300 containers.

Canal sources said the Ever Given will be escorted by two tugboats and guided by two experienced pilots.

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