UK Club insurer says reduced Suez Canal vessel claim is still too large

CAIRO – UK Club, an insurer of the container ship that blocked the Suez Canal in March, said on Monday that a reduced compensation claim by Egyptian authorities for nearly $ 600 million to free the ship and to cover the associated losses was always “exceptionally important”.

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has adjusted its request for an initial amount of $ 916 million in an attempt to settle out of court, SCA chief Osama Rabie told the channel on Saturday. private television MBC Masr.

The Ever Given, one of the largest container ships in the world, was stranded on the canal for six days from March 23, disrupting traffic in both directions.

The ship, still loaded with thousands of containers, is being held up in a lake between two sections of the canal amid the dispute over the level of compensation that SCA has demanded from Japanese owner Shoei Kisen.

Rabie said on Saturday that there was no immediate prospect of a settlement. “We haven’t seen any response from them so far, so we’re moving forward with the matter, as we were, in court,” he said.

UK Club said the proposed reduced amount was not reflected in SCA’s claim filed in court.

“The owners of Ever Given have yet to receive any evidence to support a claim of this size, which remains exceptionally large. The interests of Ever Given continue to negotiate in good faith with the SCA, ”he added.

An Egyptian economic tribunal is due to hold a hearing on May 22 to consider SCA’s claim for what it describes as losses due to the blockage and costs of dislodging the vessel, SCA sources said.

An Egyptian investigation into the incident did not reveal any wrongdoing on the part of the SCA or its pilots, the sources said, without giving details.

A source said the court could allow SCA to auction the vessel if the owner rejects any decision to compensate the canal authority. Rabie also mentioned such a result.

An Egyptian court dismissed Shoei Kisen’s appeal against Ever Given’s detention earlier this month.

(Reporting by Jonathan Saul in London and Yousry Mohamed in Ismailia; Writing by Mahmoud Mourad; Editing by Aidan Lewis and Edmund Blair)

Top photo: In this photo released by the Suez Canal Authority, a freighter, named Ever Given, sits with its bow stuck in the wall on Wednesday March 24, 2021, after getting stuck across the Suez Canal in Egypt and blocking all traffic on the vital waterway. Photo credit: Suez Canal Authority via AP.

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