The owners of the massive Ever Given container ship have made a new offer in the compensation dispute with the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), a lawyer for the authority said on Sunday, Reuters reported.
The ship blocked the Suez Canal for a week in March, causing a massive back-up in international trade and billions in losses. It has been anchored in a lake between two stretches of the canal since it was dislodged on 29 March.
The SCA demanded $916m in compensation to cover salvage efforts, reputational damage and lost revenue, before publicly lowering the request to $550m.
The Ever Given’s Japanese owners, Shoei Kisen, and its insurers have disputed the claim and the ship’s detention under an Egyptian court order.
Negotiations had been ongoing until Saturday, SCA lawyer Khaled Abu Bakr told a court hearing in Ismailia over the ship’s detention. The ship’s owners had put in a new offer, he said, without giving details.
Osama Rabie, the SCA’s Chairperson, had previously said that Shoei Kisen had offered to pay $150m in compensation.
A court ruling was due on Sunday after several delays, but Shoei Kisen’s legal team asked to allow more time for negotiations, one of their lawyers said.
Judicial sources said the case was postponed until 4 July, to allow for a “friendly settlement” between the parties.
This week, UK Club, one of the ship’s insurers, said it was engaged in “serious and constructive negotiations” with the SCA, and was “hopeful of a positive resolution to these negotiations in the near future”.