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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Panama 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.

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

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…

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.

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…

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.

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…

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.

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…

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…

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…

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: 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’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.

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.

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.

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…

© 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.