Tokyo: Egyptian authorities are demanding $550 million in compensation from the Japanese owner of a cargo ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week in March.
The large container ship Ever Given got stuck in the key waterway and prevented the passage of all other vessels for several days, NHK World reported. The Suez Canal Authority initially demanded about 920 million dollars in compensation.
During a press conference on Sunday in the Egyptian city of Ismailia, the officials of canal authority said that more than 600 workers were needed to refloat the ship, and that the demand includes compensation for a worker who was killed when a salvage ship sank.
The officials argued that the amount they are demanding is appropriate. They also said the ship's owner, Shoei Kisen Kaisha, based in Ehime Prefecture, western Japan, has offered to pay 150 million USD.
While, the Egyptians said they will not neglect their rights, although they would like to maintain good relations with the ship owner, and intend to continue the negotiations.
Under a court decision, the Ever Given will remain in Egypt until compensation money is paid.
The Ever Given was stuck in early March, paralyzing the crucial waterway. The damage to global trade can run into one billion US dollars, according to the canal authority.
The ship was refloated on March 29 by a fleet of 15 tugboats.