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Ever Given finally released after settlement

The UK P&I Club, insurer of the Ever Given containership that catastrophically blocked the Suez canal back in March, has announced that a settlement has been reached with the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) and the vessel and its crew can finally be released.

The SCA has held the Ever Given and its crew in a lake aside the canal since it was dislodged from blocking the waterway, having caused huge cost to international shipping and disruption to global supply chains.

The authority held the vessel and its crew in place while a settlement agreement was discussed with its Japanese owners Shoei Kisen and its insurers, led by the UK P&I Club.

The SCA had demanded $916m in compensation to cover salvage efforts, reputational damage and lost revenue, before it publicly lowered the demand to $550m.

Shoei Kisen and the ship’s insurers had disputed the claim and the ship’s detention under an Egyptian court order.

The UK P&I Club said on Sunday that a formal settlement had been agreed and the canal authority said the vessel would be allowed to sail on 7 July.

“The UK P&I Club is pleased to announce that, following the agreement in principle between the parties, and after further meetings with the Suez Canal Authority’s negotiating committee and numerous court hearings, good progress has been made and a formal solution has now been agreed. Preparations for the release of the vessel will be made and an event marking the agreement will be held at the authority’s headquarters in Ismailia in due course,” stated the club.

It is thought that the UK Club will cover the first $10m of P&I losses. The wider group of P&I insurers within the International Group cover the next layer up to $100m. Above that, reinsurers would provide the next layer up to $2.1bn.

Reports suggest that the final insured loss will run into hundreds of millions but won’t exceed the reinsurance layer.

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