Egypt's Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said that it will seek over $1 billion in compensation for the losses caused by the massive container ship which had blocked the vital waterway since March 23.
The compensation for the losses and damages "will reach over $1 billion dollars" Xinhua news agency reported citing SCA chairman Osama Rabie as saying.
"This is the right of the state and we will not give it up."
The 224,000-tonne Panama-flagged ship, Ever Given, was grounded on March 23 after it had veered off its course in a single-lane stretch of the canal during a sandstorm.
It was refloated six days later through the efforts of the SCA in cooperation with the Dutch firm Boskalis and its emergency response team SMIT Salvage hired by Ever Given's owner.
The SCA chairman explained that the compensation demanded by the authority is not only for the financial losses caused by six-day navigation suspension, but includes the expenses of using dredgers and tugboats and the physical damage caused during the salvage process.
Egypt resumed navigation in the canal several hours after the Ever Given was freed and re-floated on Monday, after which many of the 422 ships that have been kept waiting started to cross the waterway.
By Saturday at most, all 422 delayed ships will have crossed the Suez Canal, according to Rabie.
Linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, the Suez Canal is a major lifeline for global sea trade since it allows ships to travel between Europe and South Asia without navigating around Africa, thereby reducing the sea voyage distance between Europe and India by about 7,000 km.
Some 12 per cent of the world trade volume passes through the man-made canal.
At least 18,840 ships passed through the canal last year.
The Suez Canal provides one of Egypt's main sources of income, alongside tourism and remittances from expatriates.
Revenue from the waterway reached $5.6 billion last year.
This article is free to read, but it would awesome if we had your support.