July 7 (UPI) -- The container ship that blocked one of the world's busiest waterways for six days was released from detention after a signing ceremony for a compensation agreement between its owners and the Suez Canal Authority.
Ever Given departed Egypt's Great Bitter Lake after an Egyptian court lifted the ship's detention order following more than three months of negotiations to reach a settlement with the SCA. Details on the amount haven't been disclosed, other than the fact that a new tugboat for the SCA would be purchased.
News outlets estimate the settlement could be anywhere between $200 million to $550 million.
The 220,000-ton ship will now sail to Port Said for inspection and then Rotterdam to unload the 18,300 containers aboard the ship.
"I announce to the world that we have reached a deal," declared the SCA head, Osama Rabie, The Guardian reported.
Ever Given's owner Shoei Kisen Kaisha said the company will remain a loyal customer of the canal.
"We recognize the tremendous importance of the goods carried by our vessels and we regret the impact that the voyage delay has had on those with cargo stuck onboard," Shoei Kisen Kaisha said in a statement, according to The Guardian.
The ship grounded on the canal's banks in April for nearly a week, causing a backlog of more than 400 ships and costing billions in trade.
The ship's captain said that poor weather and high winds caused him to lose the ability to steer the ship while traveling at speed. His claims were disputed by parties who said the SCA canal pilots steer ships through tight waterways and are able to deny ships to enter the canal during a sandstorm.
It was reported that the SCA originally demanded $916 million in compensation, $300 million of which was for "loss of reputation."
Rabie said the negotiations ended in a "fair deal" for both sides, the Wall Street Journal reported.