Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Open To Negotiation With Ever Given Owners
As the painstaking litigation regarding the SCA demanded compensation for the Ever Given ship grounding continues, the Canal Authorities have revealed that there is still room for negotiation.
Initially, the SCA had demanded a compensation of $916 million which they reduced to $600 million later. However, the Japanese shipping company Shoei Kisen Kaisha which owns the vessel has refused to pay it citing a lack of evidence in favor of such an enormous claim.
Moreover, lawyers of the shipping company have alleged that the canal authorities were at fault as they have found the canal pilots on board the ship arguing with the control tower regarding the passage of the ship in the bad weather. They have highlighted this evidence from the ship’s black box to solidify their stand.
Amidst this, the SCA has said on Tuesday that they are open to negotiation with the container ship owners.
Incidentally, Ever Given had run aground in the Suez Canal on 23rd March and was refloated after 6 days of salvage efforts on 29th March. And now the SCA has demanded compensation for the salvage operation costs and also the transit revenue loss of these 6 days.
Earlier on Sunday, the ship owners’ plea of releasing the detained ship was rejected by a local Egyptian court.
The SCA had asked for a 200$ million deposit amount for the release of the ship. This amount is part of their 916$ million compensation demand. They have further said that the owners can secure the release of the ship by paying the deposit fee and pay the rest of the compensation amount by letters of credit.
In a statement issued by the SCA, the canal authorities said that they have proceeded with utmost flexibility and negotiated with the shipowner in honor of their long-term relationship.
The statement underlined that the flexibility has been reflected in how the SCA is still negotiating with the owners despite the ongoing litigation.
SCA chairman Osama Rabie has revealed how the owners have only agreed to pay a compensation of 150$ million. He further added that the grounding happened due to the ship’s captain’s fault which has been revealed by investigations, refuting claims that the canal authorities were responsible for it.
The SCA statement has drawn on the aspect of 12 ships sailing smoothly on that day to solidify their argument.