A gigantic cargo ship that blocked the Suez Canal last month is being held up in the waterway as authorities pursue a $ 916 million compensation claim against its owner, according to the ship’s insurer.
The UK Club, an insurer of Ever Given, said in a statement on Tuesday that the ship’s Japanese owners received a complaint from the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), which operates the canal, on April 7. . reputation. “
The company said a “generous offer” was made to SCA to settle its claim on Monday, without giving details of the amount.
“We are disappointed with the SCA’s subsequent decision to stop the vessel today,” the company statement added.
The ship ran aground in the narrow man-made canal separating mainland Africa from the Asian Sinai Peninsula on March 23. Rescue teams freed the ship almost a week later, ending a crisis that had crippled and resisted one of the world’s most crucial waterways. $ 9 billion in world trade per day.
The SCA would not comment when approached by NBC News on Tuesday, saying it would make an official statement on Thursday.
SCA chairman Osama Rabie told Egyptian TV last week that Ever Given would not leave until the investigation was completed and compensation was paid, Reuters reported. He said the canal had suffered “great moral damage” as well as lost transportation costs and rescue operation costs, adding that he hoped to resolve the issues amicably.
A spokesperson for the ship’s Japanese owner, Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., told NBC News on Wednesday that the company has been made aware of the compensation sought by SCA and is currently in negotiations over the figure.
Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, who manages the Ever Given, also said the shipowner informed them that the Suez Canal Authority has started proceedings against the ship, calling the decision “extremely disappointing.”
The company said the ship’s crew had fully cooperated with the canal authority’s investigation into the grounding, giving them access to the voyage data recorder and other requested materials.
Download the NBC News app for the latest news and politics
The company added that the vessel has been inspected and cleared to sail to Port Said, at the northern end of the canal, where it will be assessed again before leaving for Rotterdam in the Netherlands, its original destination.
The ship remains anchored in the Great Bitter Lake, a large body of water midway between the northern and southern ends of the canal, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement said.
Reuters and Associated Press contributed.