Suez Canal Authority (SCA) chairman Osama Rabie hit back on the blames regarding the handling of the Ever Given crisis, informing that one worker lost his life during salvage operations of the giant container ship which grounded and blocked the Suez Canal over two months ago.
Earlier in May, the Japanese shipowner, Shoei Kisen, put the blame for the incident on poor handling by the Suez Canal Authority, claiming that the latter is responsible for allowing the ship to enter the waterway during bad weather. The lawyers also added that SCA has not provided proof of any fault by the ship.
However, during a meeting with Panamiam Ambassador to Cairo Alejandro Gantes and accompanying delegation in the Suez Canal Authority’s headquarters in Ismailiyah this week, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, Osama Rabie, confirmed that the authority assumed full responsibility in dealing with the crisis after the grounding, but said that the ship-owning company “did not show the due recognition deserved”.
More specifically, Rabie noted the company’s actions did not reflect an understanding of the huge losses incurred by the authority after the incident, which included damage to a number of participating vessels and the sinking of one of Suez Canal Authority vessels during the refloating operations, resulting in the death of one of the workers, as well as the moral damage on the Canal’s reputation, Egypt Today reported.
The statement follows this week’s announcement by the Authority that is still open to negotiating with the owners of the ship regarding the demanded compensation. To remind, the SCA has asked compensation of $916 million for the disruption suffered but said on Tuesday it would be willing to accept a reduced sum of $550 million, including a $200 million deposit paid to secure the ship’s release and the remaining amount payable through letters of credit.
We adopted on the principle of good intentions when dealing with the ship-owning company as we responded to their request not to take immediate legal measures, and we waited for 11 days during which we did not succeed in reaching an agreement commensurating with the losses we incurred, which forced us to resort to the court to legalize the status of the ship,
…Mr. Rabie was quoted as saying.
However, on Sunday the court rejected a claim by Shoei Kisen, the Japanese owners of the vessel, to have the vessel released from detention.
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