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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Panama News

05 May 2021

Low Water Levels Hamper Shipping on the Parana River

© Wirestock / Adobe Stock

Argentina's Parana River, the grains superhighway that takes soy and corn from the Pampas farm belt to the world, has gotten so shallow that it has started "trimming" international shipments just as the country's export season gets underway.The level of the Parana at the export hub of Rosario, home to some of the biggest soy crushing plants in the world, was a scant 0.90 meters on Wednesday, according to the Coast Guard.Between 1996 and 2020 the median depth of the river at Rosario in April was a much deeper 3.58 meters.

30 Apr 2021

Mexican Yard Services US-sanctioned Tankers that Carry Venezuelan Oil

© Gena Anfimov /

Three Cuban-flagged tankers that are under U.S. sanctions for transporting Venezuelan oil to the Communist-run island have been serviced in the port of Veracruz on Mexico's Gulf coast, according to vessel tracking data and industry sources.The maintenance work on the vessels—one of which was serviced as recently as this month—is a potential breach of sanctions on Venezuela, two lawyers who specialize in U.S. sanctions said.However, the United States has in the past not brought enforcement actions against shipyards for doing work on blacklisted vessels from those countries, according to U.S.

29 Apr 2021

HSFO Sales Rebound After Pre-IMO 2020 Correction -BIMCO

© Rex Wholster / Adobe Stock

In the first quarter of 2021 high-sulpfr fuel oil (HSFO) has been the only bunker fuel to experience year-on-year growth in Singapore, the world's largest bunkering hub. HSFO sales are up 47.2% from Q1 2020, reaching 3.1 million tonnes. This is however still less than a third of high-sulfur fuel sales in Q1 2019, before the IMO 2020 Sulphur Cap came into force.The 1 million tonne increase in HSFO sales exceeded the fall in low-sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) and marine gas oil (MGO) sales, though only marginally, with total bunker sales in Singapore up by 0.8% in Q1.

26 Apr 2021

MARAD Awards $20 Million in Shipyard Grants

(Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding)

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) on Monday awarded $19.6 million in grants aiming to help 31 shipyards modernize, increase productivity, and expand local employment opportunities while competing in the global marketplace.The grants were awarded to shipbuilding and repair yards in 15 states throughout the U.S. as part of MARAD's Small Shipyard Grant Program. Since 2008, the program has awarded $262.5 million to nearly 300 shipyards in 32 states and territories.

27 Apr 2021

Panama Canal to Become Carbon Neutral by 2030

© diegograndi / Adobe Stock

The Panama Canal has set out to decarbonize its operations, with a target to become carbon neutral by 2030.“We at the Panama Canal are committed to sustainability, and therefore are laying the foundation, creating the tools and identifying the changes needed to achieve efficiencies that will allow us as an organization to reach carbon neutrality. This is a fundamental strategy for the waterway's long-term operation and sustainability,” said Panama Canal Administrator Ricaurte Vásquez Morales.

22 Apr 2021

Lemcool Joins Eastern Shipbuilding Group

Lance C. Lemcool has accepted the position as vice president of commercial sales and marketing at ESG. (Photo courtesy ESG)

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. (ESG) announced that Lance C. Lemcool has accepted the position as vice president of commercial sales and marketing. “Lance is a welcome addition to the ESG leadership team”, said Joey D’Isernia, president of Eastern Shipbuilding. “He is versed in nearly all areas of shipbuilding and his experience will be well applied to maintaining our status as a world class builder of government and commercial vessels.”Lemcool, a veteran of the United States Air Force and United States Navy, started his career in the marine industry in 1989.

19 Apr 2021

Panama to Award Shipyard Operation Contract by Early 2022

© chirnoagarazvan / Adobe Stock

Panama expects to award an $18-million contract between late 2021 and early 2022 for the upgrade and operation of a large shipyard near the Canal, which has been only partially working since last year, authorities told Reuters.After taking back state-owned Balboa's Shipyard from private operation, the maritime authority in mid-2020 awarded temporary concessions for portions of the facility, including two of its three dry docks, to avoid a long suspension of labor in the shipyard following two years of paralysis.The new operator of the facility…

16 Apr 2021

Algoma Fined for US Dumping Violations

© Russ Milland /

Canadian shipping company Algoma Central Corporation was fined $500,000 in the U.S. after pleading guilty to dumping wastewater into Lake Ontario.One of the Great Lakes operator's dry bulk carriers, the Algoma Strongfield, was built in China and delivered to Canada on May 30, 2017, by a crew from Redwise Maritime Services, B.V., a vessel transport company based in the Netherlands.During the delivery voyage, while manned by a Redwise crew, the oily water separator and oil content monitor malfunctioned or failed on multiple occasions…

14 Apr 2021

Panama Canal Delays Fee Increases

© Matthias Koch / Adobe Stock

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced Tuesday that it will postpone increasing canal transit fees following calls from the shipping industry to reconsider the rate hikes amid a spate of global supply chain disruptions.The higher rates for the canal's transit reservation system were scheduled to take effect on Thursday but will now start on June 1, allowing the maritime industry more time to prepare for the adjusted booking fees, ACP said. The proposed changes represent a minimum cost increase per transit reservation of $20…

14 Apr 2021

Svitzer Americas Opens Regional HQ in Panama

(Photo: Svitzer)

Maersk's towage arm Svitzer announced it has opened a new Americas regional headquarters in Panama City.Svitzer said it decided early last year to relocate its Americas headquarters from Miami, U.S. to Panama and move into the Panama Design Center, which also houses other entities of the Maersk Group including Sealand Americas, APM Terminals, Hamburg-Sud, Twill, and Maersk Liner Operations Clusters.Arjen van Dijk, managing director of Svitzer Americas, said, “Panama is an important, strategic maritime hub with good infrastructure and easy connections to nearby countries and ports.

14 Apr 2021

Arrested Suez Ship Fit for Onward Passage, Manager Says

© Cnes2021, Distribution Airbus DS

The cargo vessel that blocked global shipping in the Suez Canal and is caught in a legal dispute in Egypt is fit to sail once approval is given, its technical manager said on Wednesday.The Ever Given was declared suitable for onward passage from the Great Bitter Lake to Port Said, where she would be assessed again before departing for Rotterdam, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) said in a statement.The ship has been in the lake, which sits between two sections of the canal, since being dislodged on March 29.

09 Apr 2021

Panama Canal Authority Taps Kongsberg for New Navigation Simulators

K-Sim Navigation ship’s bridge simulators are used by the Panama Canal Authority to ensure maximum realism in training scenarios for building crew and operator sea skills - Credit: Kongsberg Digital

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP), which manages the 82 kilometers long Panama Canal that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean, has awarded Kongsberg Digital a contract to upgrade and extend the K-Sim Navigation simulators based in SIDMAR; the Center for Simulation, Research and Maritime Development of the Panama Canal Authority. Equipped with the new technology, the Panama City-based center will be able to include multiple vessels in training scenarios and extend the realism of the simulator training provided for pilots and tug masters…

06 Apr 2021

Oldendorff Orders Two Ultramax Bulk Carriers

(Photo: Oldendorff Carriers)

German shipowner Oldendorff Carriers revealed on Tuesday that earlier this year it ordered two 61,300 dwt Ultramax newbuilds from Dalian Cosco Kawasaki Ship Engineering Co Ltd (DACKS) for delivery July 2022.The 61,300 Ultramaxes are of the Kawasaki eco design, of which Oldendorff had previously built nine units at DACKS and sister yard NACKS until 2019. The vessels feature Masada / Mitsubishi cranes, bollards for the new Panama Canal, Erma First ballast water treatment systems (BWTS)…

05 Apr 2021

New Great Lakes Bulk Carrier Delivered to Algoma

Captain Henry Jackman (Photo: Algoma Central Corporation)

Canadian shipping company Algoma Central Corporation announced Monday that it has taken delivery of its new dry bulk carrier Captain Henry Jackman from the Jiangsu Yangzi-Mitsui Shipbuilding Company in China.The vessel is expected to begin trading on the Great Lakes in late June following its transit from China to Canada via the Panama Canal. The voyage is scheduled to commence in mid-April.The Captain Henry Jackman is the fifth Equinox Class gearless dry-bulk carrier and the tenth Equinox Class vessel to join the Algoma fleet. It is also the most efficient.

01 Apr 2021

Video: Eastern Launches Third Staten Island Ferry

(Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding)

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. launched Dorothy Day, the third of three new Staten Island Ollis Class ferries, on Friday, March 26, at its Allanton shipyard in Panama City, Fla.The three 320-foot Ollis Class double-ended 4,500 passenger ferries are being built for the City of New York Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Staten Island Ferry Division. Designed by Elliot Bay Design Group, each ferry features four ABS Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) 12-710 at 900 rpm EPA Tier 4  marine…

26 Mar 2021

LNG Shipping Costs: A Roller Coaster in Early 2021

(Photo: GECF)

For most of 2020, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping market was in a depressed state like many other segments of the global gas industry. LNG export cargoes fell by 0.2% y-o-y in 2020 to reach 5,682 shipments, driven by a slowdown in LNG demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The commissioning of various LNG carriers around the world exacerbated that trend. Between the period 2018 and 2020, the market witnessed the record commissioning of LNG carriers, with 134 LNG carriers coming on line, with 41 of those being commissioned in 2020.

24 Mar 2021

First Crude Cargo from Guyana to India Sets Sail

Liza Destiny FPSO, Guyana's only offshore oil production facility (File photo: Hess Corp)

The first cargo from new oil producer Guyana to the world's third-largest crude importer, India, departed this month from a production facility off the South American nation's coast in a vessel chartered by trading firm Trafigura, data from Refinitiv Eikon showed on Tuesday.India has asked refiners to speed up the diversification of imports to cut their dependence on Middle Eastern crudes after OPEC+ this month decided to extend production cuts through April, two sources said.As OPEC's share in India's oil imports fell to historic lows between April 2020 and January 2021…

17 Mar 2021

Panama Asks IMO for Help in China's Coal Carrier Dispute with Australia

© Zdenar Adamsen / Adobe Stock

Panama is urging the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to step in to help stranded seafarers and shipowners wrapped up in a trade dispute between China and Australia.Some 74 vessels loaded with Australian coal and more than 1,500 mariners are currently idled in Chinese ports and waters after Beijing last year placed an unofficial ban on imports from Australia, reportedly in retaliation for Canberra's call for an international probe of the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

11 Mar 2021

Coast Guard Cutter Dorado Decommissioned

The Coast Guard Cutter Dorado (WPB-87306) before a decommissioning ceremony on March 10, 2021 in Crescent City, Calif. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Dorado (WPB-87306) was decommissioned Wednesday after 23 years of service. The vessel was the Coast Guard's sixth 87-foot Marine Protector-class patrol boat to serve as the Coast Guard’s primary nearshore patrol asset.“I would like to thank my crew and all previous sailors for bolstering her highly successful service life,” said Lt. Rebecca Cotton, the Dorado’s commanding officer, during a decommissioning ceremony in Crescent City, Calif. “They made the Dorado an unforgettable cutter in which to serve the West Coast for the past 23 years.

09 Mar 2021

SAAM Towage to Receive Two New Tugs for El Salvador

(Photo: SAAM Towage)

SAAM Towage said it will soon take delivery of two new vessels, SAAM Acaxual and SAAM Centzunat, built by Turkish shipbuilder Uzmar to provide services at the Energía del Pacífico (EDP) liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in El Salvador.The new RAstar 3200W tugs measure 32 meters long and were especially designed by Robert Allan Ltd. to meet the needs of the Acajutla gas terminal, with bollard pull of more than 80 tons and a speed of over 13.5 knots.Each vessel has two CAT 3516C 2350 kW engines and Kongsberg US255 FP azimuth thrusters.Their design features…

03 Mar 2021

Israel Says It Tracked Down the Ship Linked to Recent Oil Spill

© Graham Flett /

Israel accused Iran on Wednesday of being linked to a recent oil spill off its shores that caused major ecological damage, calling the incident environmental terrorism.The spill was caused by an oil tanker that was carrying pirated cargo from Iran to Syria last month, Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel said.The vessel sailed through the Gulf and the Red Sea without radio contact, switching its tracking devices back on before passing through Egypt's Suez Canal…

24 Feb 2021

Dutch Report Record Containership Cocaine Bust

© lassedesigned / Adobe Stock

Customs authorities in Hamburg and Antwerp have seized a record haul of more than 23 tonnes of cocaine destined for the Netherlands in two raids this month, Dutch prosecutors said on Wednesday.The two shipments together represented a street value of roughly 600 million euros ($730 million), the prosecutors said, making it the biggest catch of cocaine headed for the Netherlands ever.Prosecutors said a 28-year old Dutchman had been arrested on Wednesday who was registered as the recipient of the containers in which the drugs were found.In Hamburg, Germany, 16.17 tonnes of cocaine were found in o

24 Feb 2021

Tanker Crewmember Medevaced Off Texas

(File photo: Patrick D. Kelley / U.S. Coast Guard)

An ailing crewmember was medevaced from a tanker offshore Port Aransas, Texas, Tuesday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi command center received a medevac request at 9:40 a.m. via cell phone from the crew of the Fortunato, a 375-foot liquefied petroleum gas carrier, stating a 41-year-old crewmember was suffering from facial swelling.A Station Port Aransas 45-foot Response Boat – Medium boat crew launched to conduct the medevac.The RB–M boat crew arrived on scene with the Panama-flagged tanker vessel…

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