UK P&I Club has delivered what it believes will be a satisfactory settlement to its dispute with the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) over the grounding of the Ever Given.
In a statement, the vessel’s insurer said it thinks it has made a breakthrough following 15 days of “extended, long and arduous” negotiations with the Suez Canal Authority (SCA).
“During the negotiations a proposal was submitted that we believe satisfies all the requirements of the SCA,” the company said.
“Accordingly, the owners and their insurers requested and confirmed to the Ismailia Economic Court of First Instance in today’s hearing (Sunday June 20, 2021) their clear desire to adjourn the hearing in order to take the necessary time to reach a final and amicable solution that satisfies all parties.”
The SCA is seeking compensation worth approximately $500 million from the vessels owner, Shoei Kisen Kaisha, for lost earnings during the six-day obstruction in March 2021.
It initially demanded $916 million and is believed to be willing to have $200 million up front, with $350 million paid later.
The 22,000 TEU vessel ran aground in the Suez Canal on 23 March 2021 and forced more than 300 cargo ships of all types to sit at anchor and many others to divert around the Cape of Good Hope.
The congestion and delay raised fears of a potential backlog crisis at Europe’s ports, and added to the maritime industry’s burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The vessel has been held by the SCA pending the outcome of the legal case since it was refloated on 29 March 2021.
On 16 June 2021, the UK P&I Club said it was hopeful for a “positive resolution” to the “serious and constructive” talks.