Ever Given saga nears end as ship poised to leave Suez Canal

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A giant container ship that had blocked Egypt’s Suez Canal for nearly a week earlier this year will be released on July 7 following an agreement between authorities and the vessel’s owners, the canal authority said Sunday.

A ceremony for the signing of the settlement agreement ending the dispute over the 400-meter-long Ever Given will be held on Wednesday, and the ship will be allowed to depart, the Suez Canal Authority’s media office said by phone.

Earlier, Stann of London, the attorneys for the ship’s owner and insurers said that a “formal solution” had been agreed upon and that preparations for its departure were being made.

Neither the SCA nor the attorneys provided details of the settlement. But the agreement marks an end to a dispute that arose after the Ever Given was freed after getting stuck in the vital waterway in March. The incident roiled global shipping markets.

The canal authority had initially sought over $900 million in damages and compensation that included recovering expenses related to freeing the ship, lost revenue and other costs and claims. The figure was later lowered to $550 million.

Japan’s Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., the owner, and the ship’s insurers initially offered $150 million.

The SCA brought the matter to an Egyptian court, which ordered the seizure of the ship pending resolution of the dispute. Authorities had said, however, that they were eager to reach an out-of-court agreement and that the ship would be allowed to leave once such a deal is reached.

The ship was being held in the Great Bitter Lake -- about halfway along the canal.

-With assistance from Abdel Latif Wahba.

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