The Egyptian authorities could ask up to $1 billion in damages for clearing the way to the Ever Given from the Suez Canal. The $1 billion price was calculated based on the canal revenue losses, the money spent on the manpower hours of the 800 rescuers, and the equipment and Machinery. It’s not clear yet who will pay for the bill.
“We’ll reach over a billion dollars in compensation,” Osama Rabie, the chairman and managing director of the state-owned Suez Canal Authority, told Egypt’s Sada El Balad channel on Wednesday evening.
“Egypt will ask for a fair amount,” Rabie said, according to a CNBC News translation, without specifying who might be liable to pay.
“We saved them so much by rescuing the ship without any major damage or losses. The whole ship could’ve been lost,” he added.
The 200,000 ton Ever Given mega-container carrier refloated on Monday. This followed some daunting efforts from the rescuers. The incident held more than $9 billion global trade a day. Additionally, over 422 vessels carrying goods such as crude oil were blocked for more than 6 days in the canal.
Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities added that the blockage could have collateral damage on the supply chains across the world.
On the other hand, Rabie said he is hoping that Egyptians and other countries could reach a compensation agreement “in two or three days”. Otherwise, Egypt might hold the ship in the Great Bitter Lake, north of the Suez Canal
“We could agree on certain compensation, or it goes to court,” he said. “If they decide to go to court, then the ship should be held,” he warned.
Egyptians are investigating the Ever Given incident
While everyone involved in the blockage is trying to clear themselves from the responsibility of the blockage. Over 800 rescuers said that the mission was extremely hard due to the size of the mega-container.
“The most difficult thing was the fear,” Aly Awamy, a mechanic on the Mashhour dredger told NBC News in Egypt on Thursday.
“We were working under something the size of a 10-story building that could have fallen on us.”
The Ever Given’s way was cleared thanks to the efforts of the crew of the Mashhour. The crew’s vessel shifting ability can reach 70,000 cubic feet of sand per hour.
“It was very dangerous,” said Mashhour’s head dredger, Mohammed Sayed. “It was the first time in history that we used a dredger in floating a ship and freeing a grounded ship.”
“That was one of the hardest and biggest challenges,” he said. “Thank God, everything went well.”
In conclusion, Egyptian authorities said that they are still investigating the Suez Canal blockage. They said that everything was recorded and this will help on identifying the reasons behind the blockage.
“There is a black box like the one in the planes that records everything,” Rabie said.
“Every word that was said about the machinery, every word about steering. Every word the captain or any others … everything is recorded.”