The owner of the Ever Green, that had blocked the Suez Canal for a week last month says the giant ship has been impounded by the Egyptian authorities over a compensation row, APA can report on Wednesday.According to a statement from the giant ship’s Japanese owner Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd, the government in Cairo is also demanding compensation amounting to some $1 billion for damage to the canal and lost business.
Beginning on March 23rd there was a protracted traffic jam for vessels at the Suez Canal several hours after the ultra large container ship 400m long and 59m wide, ran aground, literally blocking the busy shipping strait.
It was crossing the strait, north of the port of Suez, en route from China to The Netherlands when strong winds blew it off course.
Several boats were scrambled to the scene in a desperate bid to tug the Ever Green out of the way.
However, three weeks on, talks over how much Egypt should receive in compensation for damage to the canal and its business appear deadlocked.
According to Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd. the manager of the Suez Canal had secured an Egyptian court order for the ship to be “arrested”.
The Japanese company’s spokesman, Ryu Murakoshie said negotiations over compensation are ongoing but stopped short of mentioning progress in the talks to settle on a figure.
Meanwhile Osama Rabie who chairs the Suez Canal Authority claimed the owner of the Ever Green appears reluctant to pay compensation.
He said the Authority was not responsible for the mishap after the Ever Green got stuck in the waterway which is crucial for world trade.
The Suez Canal an artificial waterway linking the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea but dividing Africa and Asia, is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
In 2012 alone, over 17,000 vessels had used it with an average of 47 ships daily.
It was officially opened on 17 November 1869.