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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Panama News

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Panama Canal Launches Tender for Water Management System

The Panama Canal will implement water management solutions to improve the quantity, quality and control of its water supply, which it says is "a critical priority" as it continues to grapple with constrained water levels.As a result of climate variability, the Panama Canal watershed experienced its fifth driest year in 70 years in 2019. This unprecedented drought constrained water levels severely at Gatun and Alhajuela Lakes, the main sources of water for the Canal and half of Panama's population.

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LISCR Expands Its Leadership Team

The Liberian Registry said it has augmented its leadership team to help keep pace with nearly 12% over the last 12 months. The Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry (LISCR) has added to its ranks Thomas Klenum as Senior Vice President of Maritime Operations, and Reynaldo Garibaldi as Senior Vice President of Maritime Operations and South America.Klenum, based at the Registry’s headquarters, is in charge of the Regulations and Standards, Investigations, and Fleet Security and Certifications Divisions.

© juandofer / MarineTraffic.com

Who Owned the Chemicals that Blew up Beirut? No One Will Say

In the murky story of how a cache of highly explosive ammonium nitrate ended up on the Beirut waterfront, one thing is clear—no one has ever publicly come forward to claim it.There are many unanswered questions surrounding last week's huge, deadly blast in the Lebanese capital, but ownership should be among the easiest to resolve.Clear identification of ownership, especially of a cargo as dangerous as that carried by the Moldovan-flagged Rhosus when it sailed into Beirut seven years ago…

© Eddy Ulin / MarineTraffic.com

PDVSA Changes Oil Deals to Include Shipping as Sanctions Bite

Venezuelan state-run oil firm PDVSA has begun offering to ship its own oil, figuring in the costs in crude supply deals to help customers who have struggled to hire vessels to carry the country’s oil due to U.S. sanctions, according to company documents seen by Reuters.The United States has blacklisted vessel owners, shipping operators and threatened to sanction any tanker facilitating the country’s oil exports as it tightens restrictions on trade with the South American country.Washington has been trying to weaken socialist President Nicolas Maduro by choking the OPEC member’s oil exports…

Pictured from left to right are Major General Diana Holland, Commanding General, Mississippi River Valley Division; Gov. John Bel Edwards and Col. Stephen Murphy, Commander, New Orleans District signing the PPA. (Photo: LADOTD)

Lower Mississippi River to be Deepened to 50 Feet

The ports at Baton Rouge, New Orleans, South Louisiana, St. Bernard and Plaquemines are slated to have deep draft access after Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and other state officials signed a formal agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Friday to begin construction on the deepening of the Lower Mississippi River to 50 feet from 45 feet. The overall project will provide a draft of 50-feet from the Port of Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico over 256 miles of the Mississippi River.

(Photo: Port of Vancouver USA)

Port of Vancouver USA Receives Record Shipment of Wind Turbine Parts

The Port of Vancouver USA received a shipment of wind turbine components on July 22 that included the longest wind turbine blades ever to enter the West Coast of the U.S. and transported across North America, to-date. The port received a total of nine wind turbines including blades, nacelles, generators, hubs, tower sections and other sub-components. Eight of Goldwind’s GW155/4.2 MW turbines arrived on the MV Star Kilimanjaro. There are four complete turbines featuring Goldwind’s 76-meter blades and four additional turbines of the same model with blades arriving on later shipments.

(Photo: Monjasa)

Monjasa Expands Bunkering Capacity in Houston

Marine fuels supplier Monjasa says it is further developing its services in America’s top bunkering hub.The Houston Greater Area welcomes 1,375 vessel arrivals monthly and sees marine fuels demand of an estimated 4.5-5 million metric tons yearly. To further cater for an increasing demand, Monjasa now extends local supply capacity and product loading options.The company said it will add an additional barge on time charter as of July 2020. This improved operation can now accommodate around 60 deliveries and supply 40…

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Will Container Shipping Woes of the 2010s Repeat?

Reduced volumes are currently posing a major challenge to container shipping due to the COVID-19 crisis. So far, freight rates have been held up by the massive blanking of sailings that carriers have put in place.However, even before this crisis, the container shipping industry was saddled with overcapacity carried over from the previous decade, a problem that will rise again due to the demand fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.To understand the challenges that the container shipping market will face in the coming years…

© Eddy Ulin / MarineTraffic.com

Tankers Carrying Venezuelan Oil Stuck at Sea

Tankers carrying nearly two months worth of Venezuelan oil output are stuck at sea as global refiners shun the nation’s crude to avoid falling foul of U.S. sanctions, according to industry sources, PDVSA documents and shipping data.Washington is tightening sanctions to cut Venezuela’s oil exports and deprive the government of socialist President Nicolas Maduro of its main source of revenue.The OPEC member’s exports are hovering near their lowest levels in more than 70 years and the economy has collapsed, but Maduro has held on - to the frustration of the administration of U.S.

(Photo: Total Lubmarine)

Total Lubmarine Opens Chicago Lab

Total Lubmarine has extended the global reach of its technical support services with the opening of a new Diagomar Plus Laboratory in Chicago, Ill.The new lab opening means the marine lubricant specialist now has five centers around the world – with Chicago joining Ertvelde (Belgium), Singapore, Shanghai and Panama City.“North America is an increasingly busy market for us and the opening of the Chicago Lab ensures we have a specialist team on hand to deliver onshore dedicated technical support to our customers…

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Doyle Hired to Lead the Port of Baltimore

William P. Doyle, a former U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner, has been hired to lead the Port of Baltimore as the new executive director of the Maryland Port Administration, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced.Currently CEO and Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors of America, Doyle will take the helm at the Port of Baltimore effective July 22, succeeding Jim White, who announced he would step down at the end of 2019. Doyle was appointed by Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Greg Slater…

Source: BIMCO

BIMCO: 2020 and the Collapse of Bunker Fuel Markets

The sulfur regulation from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that came into force on 1 January 2020 took the center stage in the shipping industry at outset of the new decade. Four months on, the spotlights have turned to the coronavirus and the OPEC+ oil price war.The outlook for global economic growth remains bleak as the world is faced with the largest recession since the Great Depression in the 1930s.Commodity prices have declined across the board and most recently…

(Photo: Port of New Orleans)

Evergreen Line Launches New CAJ Service

Evergreen Line has launched a new weekly container service between South America, the Caribbean and the U.S. mainland.Evergreen will have three vessels in the service rotation, which will include calls at Manzanillo, Panama; Colon-Coco Solo, Panama; Kingston, Jamaica; Port Au Prince, Haiti; Port Everglades; New Orleans; Houston before returning to Manzanillo, Panama.Port NOLA President and CEO Brandy D. Christian said the new service further strengthens New Orleans’ direct connectivity and offers additional options.

(Photo: PortMiami)

Six New Port Cranes Enter Service in Miami

Six new all electric rubber-tired gantry (E-RTGs) cranes have been installed and are now in service at PortMiami's South Florida Container Terminal (SFCT).The new zero-emissions E-RTGs are cleaner and quieter than the older, diesel-powered top-loaders which previously worked in the container yard. Upon arrival in early January – the new equipment went through a 30-day testing and certification process by the manufacturer.SFCT is currently undergoing cargo upgrades as part of PortMiami's Master Plan.

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Panama Canal Tweaks Payment System to Help Ships During Coronavirus

The Panama Canal said on Wednesday it would make a temporary change to the payment system for ships booking passage through the waterway in order to offer more flexibility to customers affected by the coronavirus outbreak."As of May 4, 2020, the interoceanic highway will implement temporary changes to the requirements for making reservations and the advance payment of reservation fees upon confirmation," the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said in a statement.Ships have hitherto had to pay fees within 48 hours of making reservations to transit.

HMM Algeciras (Photo: HMM)

World's Largest Containership HMM Algeciras Launched

South Korean ocean carrier HMM held a naming ceremony for the newly constructed 24,000 TEU-class containership HMM Algeciras, the world’s largest containership, at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering’s (DMSE) Okpo shipyard in Geoje, Korea.The 399.9-meter HMM Algeciras is the first of a dozen 24,000 TEU-class vessels scheduled to be delivered this year, and takes the "world's largest" title from the 23,656 TEU Gülsün-Class ships owned by Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC).In September 2018…

Trailers move through Port Manatee’s newly opened transfer facility (Photo: Port Manatee)

Port Manatee Opens Transfer Facility

A new throughput-maximizing facility opened in early April at Port Manatee is helping speed shipments of fresh produce to consumers of Florida and beyond.Port Manatee’s newly unveiled transfer facility, with room for 120 trailers, optimizes capabilities for expediting movement of cargo by freeing up near-dock yard space for stacking as many as 300 containers at a time.The 3.6-acre facility was completed in three months at a port investment of $916,093 while supporting 10 construction jobs.Shippers of produce through Port Manatee include Del Monte Fresh Produce Co.…

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Factory Ship to Produce Sanitizer to Fight Coronavirus

Owners of a factory ship moored off southern France which normally turns seawater into bottled mineral water have converted it to make sanitizing solution in the fight against the coronavirus.At the start of the year, the 179-meter long Odeep One began making bottled water pumped from the depths of the Mediterranean but since April 1 the plastic bottles which roll off its production line have contained alcohol solution instead.The French owners of the Panama-flagged ship currently produce just over 43…

Image: Sociedad Matriz SAAM S.A

SAAM Acquires Intertug

Chilean logistics company SAAM has struck a deal to buy Intertug Investment Holding, a towage services company with operations in Colombia, Mexico and Honduras.SAAM will spend $54.5 million for 70% of Intertug, based on an enterprise value of $98 million, and carry out the acquisition through a capital increase and a share purchase, it said in a stock market exchange announcement.Intertug's 25-vessel fleet logs more than 18,000 maneuvers a year, generating around US$44 million in towage service revenue annually.The partnership with Intertug allows us to enter Colombia…

Photo courtesy of Panama Maritime Authority

Carnival's Mardi Gras Flagged in Panama

Carnival bought their first cruise ship Mardi Gras in the 1970’s, nearly 50 years ago, and registered her under the Panama flag, now the new Mardi Gras will keep the tradition of flying the Panama flag.In a ceremony at the Meyer Turku shipyard, The Mardi Gras, left the dry dock to be positioned in the water en-route to her new location to finalize its interior and exterior outfitting.With a capacity for 5,282 passengers, Mardi Gras marks a milestone for both Carnival and the Panama Registry.

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Shipping Industry Faces $370 mln Hit From New Panama Canal Charge

A new "freshwater" charge that came in this month to help the Panama Canal cope with climate change will cost the shipping industry up to $370 million a year, marking another blow for maritime companies already hit by fallout from the coronavirus.The Panama Canal, one of world's busiest shipping routes, which handled nearly 14,000 transits last year, said last month it would introduce a charge from Feb. 15 of $10,000 for any vessel more than 125 feet long.The canal, which relies on water from nearby Gatun Lake, has been hit by drought which affects water levels in the chokepoint.

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Panama Cargo Volumes on the Rise

Cargo volumes in Panamanian ports totaled 7,346,859 TEU in 2019, up 4.7% compared with the year before when cargo volumes showed a slight growth of 1.7% to 7.014, 410 TEU.“In 2018, Panamanian ports hit the 7 million TEU milestone for the first time and just last year cargo volumes increased by 4.7% to 7.34 million TEU of cargo volumes, making 2019 the best port performance,” said Noriel Arauz, Administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) and Minister of Maritime Affairs.

Photo: Weeks Marine

Big Ship Ready Port Dredging Kicks off 2020

The end of the 2019 saw some unprecedented funding measure pass through Congress and signed into law by President Trump. The Gulf and East Coast have continued to receive significant funding to help deepen and widen navigational channels and gateways. One of the projects passed into law included the Gulf Coast Regional Demonstration Project. Some of the ports receiving funding and underway include Mobile, Baltimore, Houston, Port Everglades and Norfolk. All these projects funded by Congress draw a direct correlation to the expanded Panama Canal.

Image: Panama Canal Authority.

Ships to Face 30% Higher Costs at Panama

The Panama Canal will begin collecting a freshwater surcharge from ships using the waterway from 15th February, as part of actions to address a scarcity of rainfall after the surrounding area recorded its fifth driest year of the last seven decades in 2019.The charge will be set at $10,000 for any vessel over 125 feet long. There will also be a variable surcharge based on the level of the Gatun Lake at the time of transit.The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) calculate this move will increase costs to ships passing through the Panama Canal by up to 15%.

Image: APM Terminals

MCT Completes 1st Year of Operations

The container port in the Limón province of Costa Rica, Terminal de Contenedores de Moín or Moín Container Terminal (MCT), operated by APM Terminals, completed its first year of operations on February 28.A press release from the international container terminal operating company headquartered in The Hague said that during the year the terminal serviced more than 1,100 ships, around 1.2 million TEUs and achieved important improvements in productivity, sustainability and the training of 1…

Roberto Garnham Poblete / MarineTraffic.com

Laden LNG Tanker Bound for China is First from US Since March 2019

A liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker which loaded a cargo from the United States is currently heading to China, the first shipment since March 2019, according to shiptracking data from Refinitiv Eikon and Kpler on Monday.The tanker SK Resolute loaded the cargo from the Cameron LNG terminal on March 22 and was originally headed to Cristobal, Panama, according to shiptracking data from Refinitiv Eikon and data intelligence firm Kpler.It changed its destination to Tianjin in China on March 28 and is expected to arrive at the Chinese port on April 28…