An Egyptian court has upheld a ruling that ULCV Ever Given (IMO 981100) must remain in Great Bitter Lake on the Suez Canal while authorities continue to campaign for $916m in compensation from the owners.
The decision was announced on Tuesday May 4th by a court in the canal-side city of Ismailia. The Ever Given is owned by Japan-based Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd and was being chartered by Taiwan-based Evergreen when it grounded on March 23rd, blocking the canal for six days. The owners want normal process to be followed, with the ship being released on the posting of a bond and the matter then playing out in either the courts or through arbitration. Meanwhile, the charterer has been attempting to separate out the cargo from the vessel, which might enable the more-than 10,000 containers stuck on the vessel to be released. General Average was declared by the owner on April 1st, adding complexity to an already complex situation.
Another hearing has been set for May 22.
The court granted the Suez Canal Authority’s request for the seizure in mid-April. The SCA wants compensation for losses of transit fees, damage to the waterway during the dredging and salvage efforts, the cost of equipment and labour, and certain other matters. The owner and its liability insurer UK Club have described the sum requested as excessive.
2018-built, Panama-flagged, 219,079 gt Ever Given is owned by Luster Maritime/Higaki Sangyo care of Shoei Kisen KK of Imabari-shi, Ehime-ken, Japan. It is entered with UK Club on behalf of Luster Maritime SA.