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Egypt seizes ship that blocked Suez Canal, asks for $900mn in compensation

One of the insurers of the container ship that was stuck in the Suez Canal last month for nearly a week said on Tuesday that Egypt had filed a compensation claim for $916 million against Japanese owner Shoei Kisen.

The MV “Ever Given was seized due to its failure to pay $900 million” compensation, Suez Canal Authority chief Osama Rabie was quoted as saying by Al-Ahram, a state-run newspaper.

UK Club, the protection & indemnity (P&I) insurer for the Ever Given, said in a statement it was disappointed that the ship and its crew were being held in the canal until compensation was paid.

Egypt’s move underscores the legal complications following the container vessel’s grounding on March 23, which closed the canal for six days and roiled shipping markets. Logjams are expected to continue in the coming weeks at major ports such as Singapore and Rotterdam because of disruptions to schedules, according to supply-chain data provider project44.

The SCA’s chief executive officer, Osama Rabie, told an Egyptian TV channel that negotiations with the ship’s owner — Japan-based Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd. — and insurers were taking longer than expected.

More than 400 ships were blocked from passing through the crucial shipping lane when the Ever Given ran aground on March 23.

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