Egypt court adjourns Suez Canal ship case to allow compensation claim recalculation
The court in the northeastern city of Ismailia postponed proceedings until June 20 following requests from lawyers representing the Suez Canal Authority and the owner of the Ever Given container ship.
"There are endeavors to reach a settlement and because they are good clients, we are asking the court to postpone to negotiate and study the offer submitted by the owners," Nabil Zidan, the Suez Canal Authority's lawyer, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying in court.
The ship owner's lawyer, Ahmed Abu Shanab, confirmed that discussions are ongoing and said there is "flexibility from both sides".
The Suez Canal Authority initially demanded more than $916 million in damages following the key waterway's six-day closure, however later lowered its claim to $550 million.
Ever Given owners Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd offered to pay $150 million, according to the canal authority, which was refused after the authority said it would not cover lost transit fees, damage to the canal, labour and equipment.
The six-day blockage disrupted global shipping, forcing some vessels to take the long alternate route around the Cape of Good Hope on Africa’s southern tip, requiring additional fuel and other costs. Hundreds of other ships waited in place for the blockage to end.
About 10% of world trade flows through the canal, a pivotal source of foreign currency to Egypt. Some 19,000 vessels passed through the canal last year, according to official figures.