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Monday, September 23, 2019

Canal Authority News

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Ships from Venezuela can still transit Panama Canal

The Panama Canal will allow vessels coming from Venezuela to transit the waterway provided they present the necessary paperwork, the canal authority's chief said on Wednesday, suggesting a new round of U.S. sanctions on the South American country may not make any difference to canal traffic.President Donald Trump's administration last week issued an executive order freezing all Venezuelan government assets in the United States. Shortly thereafter, U.S. officials ratcheted up threats against companies that do business with Venezuela.The measure did not explicitly place sanctions on non-U.S.

MSC GULSUN,  the largest container ship in the world, transits the Suez Canal for the first time 9 August 2019. CREDIT: SCA

23,756 TEU “MSC Gulsun" Transits Suez Canal

Admiral Mohab Mameesh, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority and Suez Canal Economic Zone, announced the successful transit of MSC GULSUN, the world’s largest container vessel, on its first trip through the New Suez Canal. The Panamanian ship transited the Canal with the northbound convoy, heading to North Western Europe from the Port of XINGANG.As per protocol in the Suez Canal Authority on receiving mega vessels transiting for the first time, Admiral Mameesh, presented the ship’s master with a bouquet of flowers and the Suez Canal Authority’s shield…

file image: A containership in the Panama Canal (CREDIT:CH2M)

Panama: Canal Operating normally; no ships detained

Panama's Canal Authority said on Wednesday that the canal was operating normally and without delays, adding that no ships had been detained in the trade waterway.The entity posted the statement on Twitter in response to a tweet from Venezuela's Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, who said a ship carrying 25,000 tonnes of soy had been detained in the canal.Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon

File Image: A cruise vessel passes through the Panama Canal. CREDIT: ACP

ICS Weighs in on Proposed Panama Canal Tolls

Global Shipping Industry Delivers Comments to Official Consultation on Proposed Modifications to Panama Canal Tolls.The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is conducting a public consultation on a proposal to adjust the Panama Canal tolls for containerships, vehicle carriers, dry bulk carriers, tankers, chemical carriers, LPG and LNG vessels, passenger vessels and small vessels. The proposed new toll charges are anticipated to enter into effect on 1 January 2020, the same day as the IMO ‘Global Sulphur Cap’ regulation.

Grace 1 remains impounded, not because of its flag but because it was suspected of taking oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions, an allegation that Iran denies. Image Credit: © MarineTraffic.com

INSIGHTS: Noose Tightens Around Iranian Shipping

Somewhere on its journey from the waters off Iran, around Africa's southern tip and into the Mediterranean, the Grace 1 oil tanker lost the flag under which it sailed and ceased to be registered to Panama. Iran later claimed it as its own.The ship carrying 2 million barrels of Iranian crude was seized by British Royal Marines off Gibraltar, raising tensions in the Gulf where Iran detained a UK-flagged ship in retaliation.Grace 1 remains impounded, not because of its flag but because it was suspected of taking oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions…

Administrator Quijano gathers feedback from maritime groups during the public hearing. Photo: Panama Canal Authority (ACP)

Panama Canal Hearing on Tolls Structure

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) held Tuesday a public hearing on the proposed modifications of its toll structure which culminated the period for receiving inquiries from the industry.The agency of the government of Panama responsible for the operation and management of the Panama Canal recently published a proposal to modify its current tolls structure for the dry bulk, passenger, containership, vehicle carrier and RoRo segments, as well as tankers, chemical tankers, LPG and LNG vessels…

Pic: Panama Canal Authority

Panama Canal to Modify Tolls Structure

The Panama Canal published a proposal to modify its current tolls structure for the dry bulk, passenger, containership and vehicle carrier and RoRo segments, as well as tankers, chemical tankers, LPG and LNG vessels, the intra-maritime cluster (local tourism segment) and minimum tolls (small vessels).According toa press release from the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), the announcement marks the beginning of a 30-day formal consultation period for industry feedback, which will close on July 15…

Ever large merchant vessels, including this large containership, are now transiting the Panama Canal on a regular basis. Image: CH2M

Ever Larger LNG Tankers Head for Panama Canal

A 'Q-Flex' LNG tanker, the world's second-largest class of liquefied natural gas carriers, is set to pass through the Panama Canal for the first time, the canal's CEO said, expanding the Americas to Asia trade route for the fast-growing commodity.The 'Al Safliyah', which can carry about 210,000 cubic metres of LNG, is on its way to Panama from the North Pacific after discharging a cargo from Qatar into Korea Gas Corp's (KOGAS) Tongyeong terminal on April 21, shipping data in Refinitiv Eikon showed."This is the first Q-Flex to transit the Panama Canal…

Photo by Svitzer

Svitzer to Deliver Two Tugs for Suez Canal

Svitzer, part of Denmark-based A.P. Moller - Maersk Group, has signed a 10-year agreement with the Suez Canal Authority wherein the company will provide two newbuild tugs to support operations.The the largest company globally within towage, salvage and related services said in a press release that per agreement, it has to provide two new azimuth stern drive (ASD) tugs for supporting the operations in Port Said and Suez Canal."After several stages of approval and multi-disciplinary approaches…

Photo credit: ACP

Moody's Upgrades Panama Canal Rating

Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the 20-year $450 million Senior Unsecured Bonds issued by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) to A1 from A2, with a stable outlook, based on the waterway's strong performance since the expansion's inauguration.Moody's noted that the Expanded Canal has increased overall tonnage and attracted new market segments, contributing to the waterway's strong performance. According to Moody's, "stronger cash flow generation coupled with a relatively low leverage…

Image: Suez Canal Authority (SCA)

Suez Canal Extends Bulker Toll Discounts

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has extended discounts concerning dry bulk vessels operating between American and Asian ports after considering “new changes in the global shipping market and the world economy”."SCA pays more attention to its users best interest, and has recently taken steps towards being the safest, most secure, most reliable and most competitive compared to other routes," said a press release.It said that the rebate granted to (Laden/Ballast) Dry Bulk Vessels operating between Americas' ports and Asian ports…

Ricaurte Vasquez. Pic: Florida State University

Panama Canal Appoints New Administrator

The Panama Canal Board of Directors announced the appointment of Ricaurte Vasquez as the next Panama Canal Administrator.According to a press note from the artificial 82 km waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean, Vasquez will take office on September 4, 2019, succeeding current Administrator Jorge L. Quijano, who concludes his seven-year term at the helm of the waterway.The decision was made by the Board of Directors in accordance to an independent…

Pic: Panama Canal Authority

Moody's Rated Panama Canal with Stable Outlook

Moody's Investors Service reaffirmed the Panama Canal Authority's (ACP) A2 long-term rating with a stable outlook, based on its distinctive position as an infrastructure asset with a unique geographic advantage and business model, and its strong historical operational and financial performance.According to Moody's, the ACP's strong financial performance has resulted in better than anticipated financial metrics, driven by the successful operations of the Expanded Panama Canal.

Photo: Panama Canal Authority (ACP)

Brazil’s Itaqui Port and Panama Canal Sign MOU

The Panama Canal has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Port of Itaqui to promote the shipment of grains and other cargoes in the commercial route from Brazil through the Panama Canal to destinations located in the Pacific Ocean.Itaqui, located in São Luís, Maranhão, is the Brazilian port closest to the Panama Canal. It  has the infrastructure and connectivity necessary to move these exports to markets in Asia."With this agreement, the Panama Canal looks to promote…

Image: International Transport Workers' Federation

ITF Warns on Tug Captains Fatigue at Panama

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) warns that a major accident on the Panama Canal could be imminent, highlighting the serious health and safety concerns related to the fatigue of tugboat captains.The new report  takes the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) to task with tiredness, rather than the protocols in place for the physical transfer of vessels as was the case previously.Fatigue of Panama Canal tugboat poses a major threat to safety in the operation of the canal’s Neopanamax locks…

© Carabay / Adobe Stock

Egypt Cuts Fees for Ships Arriving at East Port Said

Egypt will reduce the tariffs on container ships and ferries coming from foreign ports to East Port Said for a period of one year, the Suez Canal Authority said in a statement on Thursday.A 30 percent discount on port, docking and guiding fees will apply for vessels carrying less than 80,000 tonnes while those carrying more than that will receive a 40 percent discount, the statement said.Vessels carrying more than 50 containers will be eligible for a discount of up to 60 percent, but both rates cannot be applied at the same time, it said.The Suez Canal is the fastest shipping route between Eur

File Image: A laden boxship transits the Suez Canal. (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Andriy Kovach)

Egypt Denies Suez Canal Seeks 300 mln Euro Loan

Egypt's government denied in a statement on Thursday that the Suez Canal Authority was seeking a 300 million euro loan from Gulf lenders. Three senior banking sources that did not wish to be named had told Reuters last week that the authority requested a loan from Gulf banks in order to purchase two dredgers. "The Suez Canal has not borrowed any money from any foreign banks, and everything that had been mentioned about this issue is nothing but baseless rumours," the government statement said.

File Image: A containership in the Panama Canal: CREDIT CH2M

S&P Upgrades Panama Canal's Outlook

Two years after the inauguration of the Expanded Panama Canal, Standard & Poor's (S&P) Global Ratings revised its outlook on the Panama Canal from ‘stable’ to ‘positive’ – demonstrating the global impact of the historic waterway. The rating agency also affirmed its 'A-' rating for the Panama Canal, ranking the ACP two notches above that of the sovereign foreign currency rating. The Panama Canal's outlook indicates the rating agency's expectation that it will generate relatively stable annual earnings before interest…

On April 28, the Panama Canal received the inaugural transit of the Neopanamax LNG Sakura en route from the U.S. to Japan. (Photo: Panama Canal Authority)

Panama Canal Sets Monthly Tonnage Record

Yesterday, for the third time since the inauguration of the Expanded Canal, the Panama Canal set a new monthly tonnage record of 38.1 million tons (PC/UMS) after facilitating the transit of 1,231 vessels in May 2018.The previous record was established in January 2017, when 1,260 vessels transited 36.1 million tons (PC/UMS) through the waterway, just a month after setting the record with 35.4 million tons (PC/UMS) transited by 1,166 vessels in December 2016.The containership segment contributed highest tonnage (36 percent)…

File Image: A Boxship transits the suez Canal (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Andriy Kovach)

Suez Canal Seeks 300 mln euro Loan

Egypt's Suez Canal Authority is seeking a 300 million euro ($350.19 million) loan from Gulf banks, three senior banking sources told Reuters on Tuesday.   The loan will be used to finance the purchase of two new dredgers, the sources said.   The authority had signed a contract with Dutch firm Royal IHC for the equipment last year but failed to secure funding from local banks.   The sources provided no further details and the Canal authority could not be immediately reached for comment.   Reporting by Ehab Farouk

Image: Panama Canal Administration

Panama Canal Modifies Reservation System

The Panama Canal will implement, from October 1, changes in the transit reservation system for the new neopanamax locks, which includes a restructuring of payment fees for the natural gas segment liquefied (LNG), in order to optimize the use of the interoceanic route.A press release from Panama Canal Administration (ACP) said that the modifications "are a positive step for the neopanamax locks", and take into account the lifting of certain rules of navigation to LNG ships, as well as the comments of customers.In order to maximize the benefits of these new navigation rules…

The container segment continued to serve as the leading market segment for tonnage through the Canal, accounting for 159 million tons of the total cargo received, of which 112.6 million PC/UMS tons transited the Expanded Canal. (Photo: Panama Canal Authority)

Panama Canal Sets Record Annual Cargo Tonnage

The Panama Canal closed its 2018 fiscal year with a record tonnage of 442.1 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS), which represents a 9.5 percent increase from the previous year, the Panama Canal Authority reports.With this tonnage, the Panama Canal surpasses the cargo projections of 429.4 million PC/UMS tons for FY 2018, as well as the 403.8 million PC/UMS tons registered in FY 2017."The Panama Canal continues to exceed our expectations, reinforcing every day the importance of the waterway's expansion and its impact on global maritime trade," said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano.

On April 17, the Panama Canal transited three LNG vessels – Clean Ocean, Gaslog Gibraltar and Gaslog Hong Kong – in one day, marking a first for the waterway. (Photo: Panama Canal Authority)

Panama Canal LNG Volume Soars as Global Demand Grows

The Panama Canal may carry five times as much liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2020 as it did last year as production of the fuel expands in the United States and Asian import demand rises, the head of the canal's governing agency told Reuters.LNG volumes traversing the Canal could hit 30 million tonnes a year before the end of 2020, said Jorge Quijano, who leads the Panama Canal Authority, up from 6 million tonnes last year.Demand for LNG has risen significantly in the last three years as the increase of supply…

© keki / Adobe Stock

MLC Enters New Chapter’ for Seafarers' Rights

The ITF has welcomed the positive outcome of the third meeting of the Special Tripartite Committee of the ILO (International Labor Organization) in Geneva. The STC has agreed on a new amendment to the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) 2006 and will now be submitted to the next session of the International Labor Conference for adoption.The amendment, when it enters into force, will address a potential contractual gap for those seafarers who unfortunately fall victim and are held…

File Image: A DP World Port Terminal (CREDIT: DP World)

DP World, Egypt & Suez Canal Authority To Develop Infrastructure

MOU has been signed to collaborate on development of new inland container terminal, promoting Egypt's sustainable economic growth.   The three partners will bid for a government contract for the project, later this year. The proposed inland container depot (ICD) will increase the flow of cargo between ships and major land transportation networks in the country, creating a central distribution point.   Under the terms of the MOU, DP World will lead and represent the alliance in the bidding process and become the ICD operator, if the tender is won.   source: Reuters

Photo: Government of Dubai Media Office

DP World to Develop Egypt Port Terminal

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreed by DP World, Egypt’s Holding Company for Maritime and Land Transport and the Suez Canal Authority is aiming to develop a new Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Egypt’s 6th of October City, a satellite town in the Giza Governorate and part of the urban area of Cairo. The three partners will bid for the government contract for the project later this year. The proposed ICD will increase the flow of cargo between ships and major land transportation networks in the country, creating a central distribution point.