Taiwanese sources say that Evergreen, the charterer of the Japanese-owned Ever Given which ran aground in the Suez Canal on 23 March, is seeking to separate the cargo interests from the vessel owning interests, following the impounding of the ship by an Ismailia court.
If Evergreen’s move proves successful the cargo could be offloaded and delivered to consignees, according to the source.
An Evergreen statement read, “In accordance with information from UK P&I Club, the protection and indemnity insurer for the vessel [Ever Given], the shipowners received a claim from Suez Canal Authority (“SCA”) for the sum of US$916 million on 7 April, 2021, to cover losses during Ever Given’s grounding in the Suez Canal.”
According to Evergreen the amount includes a US$300 million claim for a salvage bonus and a US$300 million claim for loss of reputation.
“During the meeting between the shipowners and SCA on 12 April, 2021, no consensus was reached as SCA’s claims are largely unsupported and lack any detailed justification. The following day (13th April), SCA immediately filed an application to arrest the Vessel and this has been granted by the Court,” added Evergreen.
Meanwhile, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) has called the decision by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) to arrest the Ever Given “disappointing”.
The Panamanian flagged, 20,388TEU Ever Given ran aground and blocked the canal in late March, causing delays to around 450 ships expecting to transit the waterway. The operation to free the vessel took six days and included two dredgers and around 13 tugs.
“The SCA’s decision to arrest the vessel is extremely disappointing. From the outset, BSM and the crew on board have co-operated fully with all authorities, including the SCA and their respective investigations into the grounding. This included granting access to the Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) and other materials and data requested by the SCA. BSM’s primary goal is a swift resolution to this matter that will allow the vessel and crew to depart the Suez Canal”, says Ian Beveridge, CEO of BSM in a statement.
According to UK press reports, SCA chairman and MD Lt Gen Osama Rabie reportedly told Egyptian state TV, “The vessel is now officially impounded,” and that the owners, the Japanese company Shoei Kisen Kaiser, “Do not want to pay anything.”
According to the latest reports from Egypt, a court in Ismailia impounded the vessel, after the SCA made a claim for around US$900 million for the cost of the salvage operation and lost transit fees for the six-day blockage.
To date there has been no comment from Shoei Kisen Kaisha.