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Suez Canal Authority may seek $1 billion in compensation for ‘Evergreen’ crisis

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Cairo: The Suez Canal Authority hinted to seek around $1 billion in compensation for the loss incurred after the giant container vessel, ‘Evergreen’ blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week and roiled shipping markets, during media interaction on late Wednesday.

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The figure, reportedly, is a rough estimate of losses linked to transit fees, damages incurred during the dredging and salvage efforts, the cost of the equipment, and labor, as claimed by Suez Canal Authority chief executive Osama Rabie.

However, he did not specify who the Canal Authority would seek compensation from but he said “This is the right of the country,” adding that the incident hurt Egypt’s reputation. “This country should get its due.”

The 400-meter-long ‘Evergreen’ ship ran aground on March 23 in the southern part of the canal and was freed on Monday.

Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine Corp., the vessel’s charterer, said Thursday it’s not responsible for delays of any cargo it was transporting.

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The ship and its cargo, which Rabie said were worth $3.5 billion, is currently in the Great Bitter Lake, roughly halfway along the canal.

Furthermore, Rabie also claimed they could be held in Egypt if the matter of compensation went to court but for now such a scenario is unlikely as Egypt has a long relationship with the ship owner.

Meanwhile, Evergreen’s agent in Egypt, Mohamed Bahaa, said he doubted there would be any financial dispute between his company and the canal authorities.

“In 40 years now, not a single case of dispute has happened between SCA and Evergreen,” he told media asserting, “We all respect all the rules of the SCA.”

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