Egypt has impounded the container cargo ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week in March.
Its owner - Japan ship leasing company Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd. - has been ordered to pay $900 million in compensation.
State-owned news outlet Al-Ahram said Wednesday the damages sought were for losses incurred by the government when the Panamanian-flagged "Ever Given" blocked traffic through the canal.
While it was stuck, no ships could navigate the route. Shipping companies worldwide lost hundreds of millions of dollars a day. Al-Ahram said the bill included maintenance fees and the cost of refloating the container ship.
Egypt had to fly in foreign experts to dislodge the ship. The pressure was on the international salvage operation to remove the ship as world maritime trade was nearly ground to a halt. After days of around-the-clock work, the "Ever Given" was refloated March 29 and moved to Great Bitter Lake.
Shoei Kisen Kaisha said it was working with lawyers and insurance companies. The company didn't elaborate on the figures it could receive from insurance providers.
One of those, the UK Club, questioned the basis of Egypt's compensation claim. The company said it had already made a "generous" offer to the Suez Canal Authority to settle the issue.
"Despite the magnitude of the claim which was largely unsupported, the owners and their insurers have been negotiating in good faith with the SCA. On April 12, a carefully considered and generous offer was made to the SCA to settle their claim," the UK Club said.
The UK Club said the SCA hasn't provided any "detailed justification" for reaching its proposed compensation amount. The insurer said the amount it was claiming was "extraordinarily large" and included items that would be paid separately by other underwriters.
"The SCA has not provided a detailed justification for this extraordinarily large claim, which includes a $300 million claim for a 'salvage bonus' and a $300 million claim for 'loss of reputation.' The vessel was refloated after six days and the Suez Canal promptly resumed their commercial operations," the UK Club said.