The Ever Given container ship that became wedged across a southern section of the Suez Canal waterway for nearly a week and disrupting global trade in March was released after 106 days.
The development came after its Japanese owner, Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd, reached a settlement with canal authorities over a compensation amount following weeks of negotiations and a court standoff.
The settlement deal was signed in a ceremony on Wednesday in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, after which the vessel was seen sailing to the Mediterranean Sea.
Shoei Kisen said the vessel would undergo a dive survey in Egypt’s Mediterranean city of Port Said before resuming the voyage to the next port where its cargo will be discharged.
The 400-metre is loaded with 18,300 container ship. “We regret the impact that the voyage delay has had on those with cargo stuck onboard,” Shoei Kisen said in a statement.
“Throughout this matter, every effort has been made to minimise the delay and to secure the release of the vessel as quickly as possible.”
Wednesday’s release came a day after an Egyptian court lifted the judicial seizure of the vessel following the Suez Canal Authority’s notification that it reached a settlement with the vessels’ owners and insurers.
Officials did not reveal details on the terms of the settlement. At first, the Suez Canal Authority demanded $916 million in compensation, which was later lowered to $550 million. In addition to the money, local reports said the canal would also receive a tugboat.
The money, according to canal authorities, would cover the salvage operation, costs of stalled canal traffic, and lost transit fees for the six days the Ever Given had blocked the crucial waterway.