The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) is demanding $916 million in compensation from the owners of the container ship Ever Given, British-based insurer UK P&I Club said Tuesday.
The Panama-flagged vessel ran aground on March 23 when the crew lost visibility amid strong winds and a sandstorm, blocking maritime traffic in the waterway for six days.
SCA is seeking $300 million for reputational harm and another $300 million as a salvage bond, the insurance company said in a statement.
"Despite the magnitude of the claim, which was largely unsupported, the owners and their insurers have been negotiating in good faith with the SCA," UK P&I Club said.
"On 12 April, a carefully considered and generous offer was made to the SCA to settle their claim. We are disappointed by the SCA's subsequent decision to arrest the vessel today," the statement continued, referring to Tuesday's order from an Egyptian court that compels the Ever Given to remain in the country.
The Ever Given is moored in the Great Bitter Lake, at the mid-way point of the canal.
The SCA said that it lost between $12 million and $15 million a day in revenue during the blockage, while according to maritime data company Lloyd's List, some $9.6 billion worth of goods traveling between Asia and Europe were delayed for each day the canal was closed to traffic.
"The vessel will remain here until investigations are complete and compensation is paid," SCA chairman Osama Rabie said last week on Egyptian state television. EFE