Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said that it will seek over $1 billion in compensation for the losses caused by the massive container ship which had blocked the vital waterway since March 23 for almost a week and roiled shipping markets. The figure is a rough estimate of losses linked to transit fees, damage to the waterway during the dredging and salvage efforts, and the cost of equipment and labor, the Suez Canal Authority’s chief executive officer, Osama Rabie, said late Wednesday to local television channel Sada Elbalad.
He did not specify who the Canal Authority would seek compensation from. “This is the right of the country,” Rabie said, adding that the incident hurt Egypt’s reputation. “This country should get its due.” The 224,000-tonne Panama-flagged ship, Ever Given, was refloated six days later through the efforts of the SCA in cooperation with the Dutch firm Boskalis and its emergency response team SMIT Salvage hired by Ever Given’s owner. The SCA chairman explained that the compensation demanded by the authority is not only for the financial losses caused by six-day navigation suspension, but includes the expenses of using dredgers and tugboats and the physical damage caused during the salvage process. Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine Corp., the vessel’s charterer, said Thursday it’s not responsible for delays of any cargo it was transporting. Shoei Kisen will discuss compensation with the Canal Authority, but will refrain from giving details for now, according to a spokesperson.