- Satellite images show the Ever Given on Monday, still in the Great Bitter Lake off the Suez Canal.
- It has been declared seaworthy, but has been impounded by Egyptian authorities.
- Egypt is demanding up to $900 million in compensation for the chaos caused when the ship was stuck.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Newly-released satellite images show the Ever Given in the Suez Canal’s Great Bitter Lake, where it is being held while a legal battle rages.
Egyptian authorities impounded the vessel Tuesday while it pursues a case against its owner – the Japanese company Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd.
They are reported to be seeking $900 in compensation for the chaos caused in the six days the vessel was blocking the way, costing the canal operators a vast amount on lost transit fees.
Lt. Gen. Osama Rabie, head of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), told state-run television: “The vessel is now officially impounded. They do not want to pay anything,” The Guardian reported.
The Ever Given was moved to the canal’s large artificial lake on March 29, having spent the previous six days blocking the crucial maritime thoroughfare. It took the massive efforts of dredgers, excavators, tugboats and winches to shift the vast container ship from where it had been lodged since March 23.
Rabie said that its investigation into who was at fault for the grounding will be concluded Thursday, the Guardian reported. He denied any culpability on the SCA’s part, and said that “of course” the ship’s owner was at fault, the paper reported.
The ship’s technical managers, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), said in a statement that it found the SCA’s decision to impound the Ever Given “extremely disappointing,” citing the cooperation it had offered the authority in investigating the cause of the grounding.
In early April, Shoei Kisen Kaisha filed a “general average” claim, which would share any costs between the ship’s insurers and the owners of its cargo.
General average is a principle of maritime law that means risk for damages is shared between the ship’s customers.
Maritime insurance claims attached to the grounding will ripple far beyond the one lodged by Shoei Kisen Kaisha, as the shipping journal Lloyd’s List reported. Hundreds of ships were delayed or re-routed by the grounding, throwing destination ports into disarray and causing a backlog in the flow of goods around the globe.
Separately, on Wednesday BSM said that an inspection of the Ever Given’s seaworthiness had concluded, finding that it was still capable of sailing.
The inspection concluded that the ship was technically able to keep moving through the canal to its northern end, Port Said.
From there, it would be inspected again to make sure it could continue to its intended destination of Rotterdam, BSM said.
However, Egypt’s decision to impound the ship means that it is unlikely to go anywhere soon despite being technically able.