The owners and insurers of the massive container ship, Ever Given, which blocked the Suez Canal in late March and closed the world's most important shipping lane for almost a week, settled Sunday with Egyptian authorities, allowing the vessel to exit the canal later this week, according to AP News.
The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) will allow Ever Given and its crew to set sail on Wednesday after settling compensation disputes. Since late March, owners and insurers of the vessel and SCA officials have been bickering over settlement figures for canal disruptions.
Last month, an "agreement in principle" between the vessel's owners and SCA was announced, but it now appears finalized.
Readers may recall the 1,312 feet long mega-ship was traversing the southern part of the canal when high winds diverted it off course and become stuck, blocking all vessel traffic in the shipping lane for six days. After the vessel was dislodged, SCA demanded nearly $1 billion from the ship's Japanese owners for lost revenue and the cost of salvaging it. But the amount was later publicly lowered to $550 million.
"We are pleased to announce that... good progress has been made and a formal solution agreed," said Faz Peermohamed, a member of the London-based Stann Marine law firm, which represents owner Shoei Kisen and its insurers.
"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," Peermohamed said.
There were no details about settlement figures. The signing of the settlement contract would be held on Wednesday at a ceremony as the vessel departs from Great Bitter Lake, a large saltwater lake in Egypt that is part of the Suez Canal.
The entire ordeal lasted more than three months and appears to be finally over. Ever Given and its crews are lucky because some maritime disputes can be locked up in courts for years, stranding crews and precious cargo.