Ever Given container ship enters Suez Canal

Special attention will be paid to the narrowest part of the Canal south of the Great and Small Bitter Lakes, where the incident with the ship occurred last March

Ever Given container ship© EPA-EFE/REMKO DE WAAL

CAIRO, August 20. /TASS/. The container ship Ever Given, which last March got stuck in the Suez Canal for several days, blocking traffic both ways, entered Egypt’s water artery again. According to the Marine Traffic portal, the ship is on its way from Port Said, where it arrived on Thursday evening, to Ismailia. It is moving along the canal’s northern arm, which since 2014 has been open to traffic in both directions.

The Suez Canal Authority told TASS on Thursday the partly loaded container ship early Friday morning entered the canal’s shipping corridor as part of an Asia-bound northern convoy from Port Said. The Ever Given is escorted by two tugs (one ahead of it and one in the rear), both with experienced pilots on board.

The container ship on the way from Rotterdam entered Port Said late Thursday evening. It is scheduled to pass the Suez Canal on Friday. Special attention will be paid to the narrowest part of the Canal south of the Great and Small Bitter Lakes, where the incident with the ship occurred last March.

On March 23, the 400-meter-long Ever Given flying the Panamanian flag was buffeted by strong winds and ended up wedged across the waterway with its bow and stern stuck in the canal banks, blocking all traffic until it could be freed six days later. More than 400 ships had to line up to wait for their turn to get through the canal. The traffic jam extended nearly to India.

The canal’s management demanded $916 million in compensation from the ship’s owner for the damage caused and the costs of pulling the stranded ship from the banks. An amicable deal was concluded on July 7. The contracting parties refrained from disclosing the details of their agreement, saying that the contract’s value was confidential information.

However, according to sources in the Suez Canal Authority, the parties concerned held prolonged talks while the ship remained under arrest to eventually agree on compensation to the tune of $540 million: $240 million to be paid instantly, and another $300 million, by instalments over a period of twelve months. Also, the canal is expected to obtain an advanced tug ship.

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