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Friday, July 20, 2018

Panama Canal Authority News

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 photo: Panama Canal Authority

Panama Canal Sets Daily Tonnage Record

In February 2017, the Panama Canal set a new daily tonnage record of 1.18 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS) after welcoming a total of 1,180 vessels through both the expanded and original locks, the Panama Canal Authority reported. The previous record was established the month prior in January 2017 when the canal recorded a daily tonnage average of 1.16 PC/UMS. February is the third-consecutive record-breaking month for the Panama Canal. In December 2016 and January 2017, the waterway set monthly tonnage records after transiting 35.4 million PC/UMS and 36.1 million PC/UMS, respectfully.

Photo: Panama Canal Authority

Panama Canal Sets Depth Limit on Ships Due to Drought

The Panama Canal will next month impose new draft restrictions on ships due to falling water levels at nearby lakes that form part of the waterway, the authority that administers the canal said in a statement on Monday. Ships seeking to cross the waterway must comply with a maximum depth limit of 39 feet (11.89 meters) beginning on April 18, but the Panama Canal Authority (APC) said the impact on operations would be minimal. The "temporary and preventive measures" are connected to local climate impacts of El Niño…

Image:  Brazil’s Fundação Homem de Mar (FHM)

Panama Canal Dismisses ITF Claims

The Panama Canal has dismisses claims by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) that questions industry standards and the operation of the Expanded Panama Canal’s new locks. Claims made by ITF that new locks built for the Panama Canal expansion will be unsafe in operation have been strongly rejected by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) as lacking scientific accuracy and credibility. Following the publication of an ITF-commissioned study, Peter Pusztai Panama, Canal Pilot Training Coordinator, said: “The ITF’s claims are unproven and contain many errors.

Photo: The Panama Canal Authority

Panama Canal Hearing Addresses Toll Structure Changes

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) today held a public hearing on its tolls structure modifications proposal. “The modified tolls will safeguard the Canal's competitiveness, charge a fair price for the value of the route and provide a competitive service to the global shipping industry,” said Panama Canal Administrator, Jorge L. Quijano. The hearing follows the conclusion of a 32-day formal consultation period for industry feedback. All comments received both in writing and at the hearing will now be evaluated and analyzed by the Board of Directors…

Photo: Panama Canal Authority

Panama Canal Ends Depth Restrictions

Panama Canal Authority said it has lifted restrictions on the depth of ships passing through that had been imposed since April because of low water levels caused by severe drought, says a report in AP. On April 18, Panama Canal started imposing restrictions on the depth of ships passing through because of lower water levels caused by a severe drought. The measure trims ships' maximum allowed draft - the distance from the waterline to the bottom of the hull - by 5.9 inches (15 centimetres), from the usual 39.5 feet (12.04 metres) to 39 feet.

(Photo: Panama Canal Authority)

Panama Canal’s New Tolls Structure Approved

Modifications to the Panama Canal tolls structure have been approved by the Cabinet Council of the Republic of Panama. After a thorough analysis of the current utilization and productivity of the Neopanamax Locks, and after meetings with Panama Canal executives, customers and industry representatives in Europe, Asia and North America, the proposed tolls modifications were officially announced on June 1, 2017. This was followed by a formal consultation period to ensure all interested parties could provide feedback for consideration.

Photo: Canal de Panamá

Panama Canal: Expansion and Impact

Panama Canal expansion opens June 26 amid much fanfare and one of the worst shipping industry slumps ever. WSJ says, while it won’t do anything to help the dire state of the industry near-term, the changes are critical to Western trade in the long run. The canal, which handles about a third of Asia-to-Americas trade, had no choice but to expand. As the industry copes with its downturn, major shipping companies are pooling their resources and using fewer but much bigger ships—ones that are too large to fit through the pre-expansion Panama Canal.

The CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt transiting the Cocoli locks (Photo: ACP)

Panama Canal Welcomes Largest Capacity Containership To-date

The Panama Canal today welcomed the largest capacity vessel to ever transit the Expanded Locks, the Neopanamax containership CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt, which began its voyage from Asia, will be making stops along the U.S. East Coast. The ship has a total TEU allowance (TTA) of 14,855 and measures 365.9 meters in length and 48.2 meters in beam. “Today’s transit not only represents the growing success and adoption of the Expanded Canal, but also its impact on reshaping world trade,” said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano.

Photos: Official Twitter account of the Panama Canal

Panama Canal Officially Opens $5.25Bln Expansion

A 984-foot Chinese container ship was greeted with fireworks and cheers from a crowd that had gathered, when it made an inaugural passage through the newly expanded Panama Canal on Sunday, formally launching the Central American nation's multibillion-dollar newly-enlarged Panama Canal. The country’s president was among the dignitaries present to celebrate the event. The colorful ceremony celebrating the culmination of this $5 billion project has featured dancing flowers, dragons and a marching band.

Left to right:  Gary Hodgson, COO Peel Ports, Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano and Mark Whitworth CEO of Peel Ports. (Photo: Peel Ports)

Peel Ports Senior Team Attend Opening of Panama Canal

Mark Whitworth, CEO of Peel Ports Group, and Gary Hodgson, COO, were VIP guests of the Mayor of Panama during the inauguration ceremony of the newly expanded Panama Canal when the official opening took place on Sunday, June 26th. The delegation from Peel Ports, owners of the Port of Liverpool, met with key Panamanian political and business leaders as part of the event, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Panama Canal Authority. Mark Whitworth commented: “The opening…

Courtesy PortMiami

Panama Canal, PortMiami Renew MOU as Port Welcomes MOL Majesty

Today, another milestone agreement was reached as Panama Canal Administrator and CEO Jorge L. Quijano and PortMiami Director Juan M. Kuryla renewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote trade opportunities and share best customer practices. The renewal of the MOU—which extends the 13 year-plus alliance enjoyed by both parties—demonstrates the value of the Panama Canal and its commitment to US East Coast ports. It also coincides with a ceremony held by PortMiami to celebrate the arrival of the MOL Majesty, the first Miami-bound Neopanamax vessel to transit the expanded Canal.

Photo: Panama Canal Authority.

Panama Canal Launches Green Award System

The Panama Canal has launched the Green Connection Award, a new initiative to recognize customers who demonstrate excellent environmental stewardship, and to encourage others to implement technologies and standards to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Panama Canal customers that meet and exceed environmental standards set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and/or other globally recognized standards will be considered. The Panama Canal will evaluate eligible candidates based on specific environmental factors…

Shell-chartered LNG carrier Maran Gas Apollonia transiting the Expanded Panama Canal’s Agua Clara Locks

First LNG Vessel Transits Expanded Panama Canal

Today, the Panama Canal marked another milestone with the transit of the first-ever liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier through its expanded locks. Shell-chartered Maran Gas Apollonia—measuring 289 meters in length and 45 meters in beam—arrived Monday from the Sabine Pass LNG Terminal on the U.S. Gulf Coast, signaling the arrival of the highly-anticipated segment to the waterway. “The transit of the first LNG vessel through the new Panama Canal locks is a milestone in the waterway’s history,” said Panama Canal Administrator and CEO Jorge L. Quijano.

Image: Panama Canal authority

Ship Hits Panama Canal

The Panama Canal authority  (ACP) says a Chinese container ship’s damaging scrape with the canal’s new wider locks was caused by bad weather, Reuter quotes  ACP's  administrator, Jorge Quijano. He said that the only problem in the last month involved a China Shipping Container Lines ship, the Xin Fei Zhou, and it was due to intense rainfall and wind and the vessel not lining up correctly. Quijano says it was the only such incident in the widened canal’s first month of operation. He says unfortunately these things happen in their business.

Photo: The Maritime Group, Inc.

TMG Delivers Panama Canal Study

The Maritime Group (TMG)  carried out a pivotal assessment review of the tugboat operations in the new third set of NeoPanamax locks of the $5.25 billion Expanded Panama Canal and made other operational observations. TMG  was intructed by Autoridad del Canal de Panama (Panama Canal Authority – ACP) with a brief to focus on Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) procedures. "ACP accepted our findings in early September 2017 and is now considering any modifications to its procedures and the optimization of its schedules," says a press release.

Photo by Panama Canal Authority

S&P Affirms Panama Canal’s 'A-'Ratings

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings affirmed its 'A–' long-term corporate credit and debt ratings of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), reiterating the credit rating agency’s trust in the management, operation and investments of the Panama Canal. In their research update issued on August 4, 2016, S&P Global Ratings stated that the ACP’s operating and financial performance remained in line with S&P’s expectations. The ratings affirmation reflects S&P’s expectation that following the Expansion…

Willima P. Doyle, U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner

FMC's Doyle to Exit Commission in January, 2018

Today, the Office of Commissioner William P. Doyle of the U.S. “Last week, I notified The President of the United States Donald J. Trump of my intention to leave the Federal Maritime Commission effective January 3, 2017. It has been an honor and a privilege to continue serving in the Trump Administration. I thank President Barack Obama for nominating and appointing me twice as a Commissioner. “I am proud to have worked alongside my fellow Commissioners and with such a dedicated and hardworking Commission staff.

(File photo: Panama Canal Authority)

Panama Canal Expects LNG Tanker Traffic to Rise 50%

The number of liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers traversing the Panama Canal is expected to jump 50 percent by September due to rising exports of the fuel from the United States, the head of the canal's governing agency told Reuters. After adding a third set of locks in 2016, the Panama Canal Authority expects that growing global demand for LNG will boost transit through the waterway, said Jorge Quijano, head of the authority. Demand for LNG has taken off in recent years because of abundant supplies of natural gas…

Photo: ACP

Panama Canal Taking Proposals for Corozal Container Terminal

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) to the four pre-qualified port operators selected to compete for the concession to design, develop, finance, construct, operate and maintain a container terminal located near Corozal, in the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal. As part of the Panama Canal Diversification Strategy, the Corozal Container Terminal will play an important role in providing additional port capacity on the Pacific side of Panama in order to support the transshipment needs of the larger vessels going through the Expanded Panama Canal.

Peel Ports' Chief Operating Officer Gary Hodgson (seventh from left) with the Panamanian delegation (Photo: Peel Ports)

Panama Canal Authority, Peel Ports Form Alliance

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with major UK ports operator, Peel Ports, who own the Port of Liverpool, as the latter gears up for the formal opening of its Liverpool2 container terminal in early November. The formal agreement creates a strategic alliance aimed at facilitating international trade and generating new business by promoting trade routes between Liverpool and the west coast of South America via the Panama Canal. The agreement was signed October 24 by Jorge L.

© DazGee / Adobe Stock

Brazilian Grain Producers Explore Increased Use of Panama Canal

Brazilian farmers in top soy state Mato Grosso signed a memorandum of understanding with the Panama Canal Authority to evaluate ways to cut transportation costs and boost Brazilian grain volumes using the waterway, the authority's chief administrator said. The canal's administration is looking to increase its participation in rising Brazilian grain exports, since a large part of grain trade expansion in Brazil is via new terminals in the northern part of the country, which are closer to the canal.

Photo courtesy of ITF

How Ports Can Help to Cut Shipping CO2

Ports play an important role in reducing the global carbon footprint of maritime shipping, says a new report by the International Transport Forum at the OECD. Greenhouse gas emissions from shipping currently represent around 2.6% of total global emissions. Without reduction measures, this share could more than triple by 2050. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) last week set a target of reducing shipping CO2 emissions by “at least” 50 percent by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. To achieve this, stringent measures now need to be put into place.

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…

Panama Canal Photo Panama Canal Authority

Panama Canal, IRPT Sign MoU

Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals (IRPT) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Panama Canal Authority (ACP). This historic event marks the first ever global connection for IRPT. This Memorandum of Understanding is important to all of our inland river ports, terminals, and river-borne transportation services and will recognize the importance of promoting waterway shipping. IRPT promotes foreign and domestic commerce using international trade routes, such as the Panama Canal.