Still loaded with about 18,300 containers, the Ever Given huge vessel which blocked Suez Canal in March disrupting global trade was freed Wednesday after Egypt signed a compensation deal with its owners and insurers. The vital waterway was blocked when the 400m-long (1,312ft) Ever Given became wedged across it after running aground amid high winds.The ship has been impounded for three months near the canal city of Ismailia. Compensation was asked from the Ever Given’s Japanese owner Shoei Kisen for the cost of the salvage operation, damage to the canal’s banks and other losses.Terms of the deal were not disclosed but Egypt had demanded $550m (£397m). The SCA initially asked for $916m compensation, including $300m for a salvage bonus and $300m for loss of reputation.
SCA head Osama Rabie told a news conference that the authority would not change its rules about the passage of ships in bad weather. However, he said the grounding had accelerated plans for the canal’s expansion. The vessel now is due to undergo an inspection by divers at Port Said before sailing to Rotterdam in the Netherlands and then to the UK port of Felixstowe where it will offload its containers.