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(Reuters) — A representative for the owners and insurers of a giant cargo ship that blocked the Suez Canal in March on Wednesday said that an agreement in principle had been reached in a compensation dispute with the canal authority.
Work was underway to finalize a signed settlement agreement as soon as possible, and arrangements for the release of the Ever Given container ship would be made after formalities had been dealt with, Faz Peermohamed of Stann Marine said in a statement.
The Ever Given has been anchored in a lake between two stretches of the canal since it was dislodged on March 29. It had been grounded across the canal for six days, blocking hundreds of ships and disrupting global trade.
The Suez Canal Authority demanded $916 million in compensation to cover salvage efforts, reputational damage and lost revenue before publicly lowering the request to $550 million.
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.
SCA lawyer Khaled Abu Bakr on Sunday told a court hearing over the ship’s detention that the vessel's owners had presented a new compensation offer and negotiations were ongoing.
The Economic Court in Ismailia, Egypt, has allowed the Suez Canal Authority to continue the detention of Ever Given containership, thereby rejecting a complaint by the vessel’s owner Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd. against the SCA’s actions, NDTV reported citing Reuters. The SCA has reduced the settlement sum to $550 million from the initial $916 million for releasing the vessel, which blocked the waterway for six days in March.