Panama Canal Authority Acquires New Tugs

Thursday, December 12, 2002
Panama President Mireya Moscoso welcomed two new tugboats to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) fleet, both purchased at a cost of $10,768,794. The new units, named Herrera and Los Santos, are made of state-of-the-art technology, and include emergency response equipment and improved operational facilities. Canal Administrator Alberto Aleman Zubieta stated: “ The addition of two tugboats, Herrera and Los Santos, are part of the Canal’s permanent modernization program geared towards providing our customers with the best service for their transit through the Canal. High- quality customer service is our first priority and these new tugboats are another example of this commitment. This equipment, to be operated by the Transit Resources Division, is made of steel and has a Schottel system for stern azimuthal propulsion. Each features a 4,400-horsepower Deutz engine, with specifications that allow the ACP to provide a better quality in transit services offered to customers.

The tugboats consist of floating equipment that assist ships during their transit through the Panama Canal, mainly in the entrances and exits of the locks and during their journey through Culebra Cut, where maneuverability and power are required. Both tugboats received the traditional splash of champagne from their patrons: Captain Vielka Domínguez, inaugurated tugboat Los Santos; and Panama President Moscoso inaugurated tugboat Herrera. The ceremony was attended by Canal Administrator Alberto Alemán Zubieta and Deputy Administrator Ricaurte Vásquez M., members of the Panama Canal Authority Board of Directors, distinguished businessmen and government officials. During the inauguration, the advantages of the new equipment were highlighted, for this acquisition is part of the waterway’s permanent modernization program. With the addition of Herrera and Los Santos, the fleet now totals 24 units.

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