ISMAILIA, Egypt, June 20 (Reuters) – The owners of a giant container ship that blocked the Suez Canal in March have made a new offer in a compensation dispute with the canal authority, an authority lawyer said on Sunday, in a court ruling on the case has been postponed for two weeks.
The container ship Ever Given has been anchored in a lake between two sections of the canal since it was dislodged on March 29. It had run aground on the canal for six days, stranding hundreds of ships and disrupting world trade.
The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) demanded $ 916 million in compensation to cover rescue efforts, reputational damage and lost revenue, before publicly reducing the claim to $ 550 million.
The Japanese owners of the Ever Given, Shoei Kisen, and his insurers have challenged the claim and detention of the vessel under an Egyptian court ruling.
Negotiations continued until Saturday, SCA lawyer Khaled Abu Bakr said at a hearing in Ismailia over the vessel’s detention. The ship’s owners had made a new offer, he said, without giving details.
The SCA president previously said Shoei Kisen offered to pay $ 150 million.
A court ruling was due on Sunday after several delays, but Shoei Kisen’s legal team requested more time for negotiations, one of their lawyers said.
Judicial sources said the case had been postponed to July 4 to allow for an “amicable settlement” between the parties.
This week UK Club, one of the ship’s insurers, said it was engaged in “serious and constructive negotiations” with SCA and “hoped for a positive resolution of these negotiations in the near future”.
Reporting by Yusri Mohamed, written by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise
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