A super tanker that blocked the Suez Canal is returning to Asia, authorities said, five months after being stranded in the vital waterway and crippling world trade.
The MV Ever Given had “successfully crossed” the canal after unloading its cargo in Britain and was now on its way to China, Suez Canal Authority chief Osama Rabie said on Friday.
Rabie said the ship’s passage on Friday was overseen by “senior” guides from the authority.
The vessel was seen sailing in open waters accompanied by Egyptian-flagged tugs in aerial video footage posted to the SCA’s Twitter account.
Ever Given – a juggernaut with a deadweight tonnage of 199,000 – got stuck diagonally across the canal during a sandstorm on March 23.
A round-the-clock rescue operation took six days to dislodge it.
After her release, Egypt seized the vessel and demanded compensation from the Shoei Kisen Kaisha owners for lost canal revenue, salvage costs, and damage to the waterway.
The Taiwan-operated vessel left the Suez last month after Japanese owners reached a compensation deal with Egypt.
Terms of the deal were not publicly disclosed, but Egypt initially requested more than $ 900 million in compensation, which it later reduced to $ 550 million.
An SCA employee was killed during the rescue operation.
In May, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi approved a two-year project to widen and deepen the southern part of the waterway where the ship ran aground to avoid any recurrence of the crisis.
Egypt, which takes a toll on ships crossing the canal, said the crisis had cost it up to $ 15 million a day, while shipping insurers estimated global trade was hit by billions.
Last month, SCA’s Rabie said the channel brought Egypt a record $ 5.84 billion in the last fiscal year, despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global trade and blocking the cargo.
© 2021 AFP