Panama News

27 Nov 2020

Report: Venezuela Resumes Oil Shipments to China Despite U.S. Sanctions

Kyoto - Credit:smp/MarineTraffic

Venezuela has resumed direct shipments of oil to China after U.S. sanctions sent the trade underground for more than a year, according to Refinitiv Eikon vessel-tracking data and internal documents from state company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).Chinese state companies China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and PetroChina - long among PDVSA's top customers - stopped loading crude and fuel at Venezuelan ports in August 2019 after Washington extended its sanctions on PDVSA to include…

20 Nov 2020

Iran Seizes Tanker for Alleged Fuel Smuggling

© gt29 / Adobe Stock

Iran's Revolutionary Guards have seized a Panama-registered vessel in the Gulf suspected of smuggling 300,000 liters of fuel and detained its crew of 10, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Friday.The agency did not give the nationality of the crew members or other details of the incident in its report.Iran, which has some of the world’s cheapest fuel prices due to heavy subsidies and the fall of its national currency as it faces U.S.

10 Nov 2020

Panama Canal Amends Tender for Water Management System

(Photo: Panama Canal Authority)

The Panama Canal has amended a tender for the engineering, design and construction of an optimized water management system after receiving more than 250 potential bidder inquiries following the opening of the prequalification period in September.The Canal has been grappling with unprecedented drought constrained water levels, and the tender is the first component of a program to manage water resources in an integrated manner to provide an adequate water supply for both Canal operations and local consumption for the next 50 years.

05 Nov 2020

Video: Bulker Crewmember Medevaced Off San Diego

A crew member was medevaced from the bulk carrier Jal Kamadhenu roughly 250 miles off the U.S. West Coast (Image: U.S. Coast Guard)

An ailing mariner was medevaced Thursday from a bulk carrier more than 250 miles west of San Diego, the U.S. Coast Guard said.On Wednesday night, watchstanders at 11th Coast Guard District command center received a request for assistance from the Panamanian-flagged bulker Jal Kamadhenu, which reported a 55-year-old crewman on board was displaying symptoms of a possible heart attack or stroke.A Coast Guard Sector San Diego MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter launched on Thursday morning with…

05 Nov 2020

Fire-stricken Venezuelan Oil Tanker Undergoes Repairs in Cuba

© Alberto Ramirez /

An oil tanker owned by Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela's maritime division is undergoing repairs in Cuba after suffering a fire while discharging last week, four people familiar with the matter said this week.The Aframax-sized vessel Teseo had set sail from Venezuela's Cardon port with about 500,000 barrels of fuel oil for power generation on October 20, destined for Cuba's Felton port, according to an internal PDVSA document and Refinitiv Eikon ship tracking…

05 Nov 2020

Australia Orders Repatriation of Overworked Bulker Crew

© Moreight /

Australian officials have ordered the repatriation of nine Chinese and Filipino seafarers who have been working on board the bulk carrier Brio Faith for nearly two years without relief. The Panama-flagged bulker was inspected Monday in Port Alma, Queensland, where Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) personnel verified that three crew had been on board for over 12 months, four crew had been on board for over 16 months and two crew had been on board for over 20 months.During the inspection the operator Tianjin Shun Xin Yuan Shipping Co LTD assured AMSA…

02 Nov 2020

IMO SG Emeritus William O’Neil Passes Away

William O’Neil was Secretary-General of IMO from 1990 to 2003. (Photo: IMO)

William A. O’Neil, Secretary-General Emeritus of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), has died in the United Kingdom, aged 93.O’Neil was elected Secretary-General of the IMO for a first term of Office beginning in 1990, a second term beginning in 1994, a third term beginning in 1998 and a further two-year term from 2002 to 31 December 2003. He was the second longest serving Secretary-General of IMO.Current IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim expressed his sincere condolences to the Canadian Government…

02 Nov 2020

US Shipyards: Always on the Job Hunt

Gulf Copper & Manufacturing Corp is constantly on the lookout for quality tradesmen. (Photo: Gulf Copper)

American shipyards form an important economic engine, supporting nearly 400,000 jobs, $25.1 billion of labor income and $37.3 billion in gross domestic product (GDP), according to figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD).It’s a good thing, then, that U.S. shipyards were deemed essential businesses amid COVID-19 and have remained up and running throughout the pandemic. And it’s even better that most yards have been able to keep their workers employed despite less than stable market conditions…

19 Oct 2020

Japan Export Decline Slows Dramatically

© Parilov / Adobe Stock

Japan’s exports fell in September at the slowest pace in seven months as U.S.-bound vehicle shipments rose from lows brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, indicating easing pressure on the world’s third-largest economy.Exports fell 4.9% in September compared with the same month a year earlier, more than the 2.4% economists forecast in a Reuters poll. Still, the pace followed six months of double-digit decline, including a 14.8% drop in August.Fewer exports of iron to Taiwan and ships to Panama left September marking the 22nd consecutive month of export decline…

16 Oct 2020

COVID-hit Bulk Carrier Leaves Australia

© Iwan Afwan /

A Panama-flagged bulk carrier with a coronavirus outbreak on board has sailed from its anchorage off Port Hedland and is enroute to Manila, the Philippines.The clearance for the Vega Dream’s departure was given Wednesday by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.The Western Australian Department of Health said it offered assistance to the COVID-19 positive crew "in line with its commitment to humanitarian care", but medical intervention was not required and declined.Prior to embarking on its voyage…

13 Oct 2020

US Shipyards See Big Business Shifts

The second of three vessels for New York City’s Staten Island Ferry was launched by Eastern Shipbuilding this summer. (Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding Group)

The American shipbuilding scene, filled with participants constructing all manner of vessels, has been navigating through stormy times (lately, yards along the Gulf Coast have literally been dealing with storms). The orders for newbuild, repair and conversion projects continue to flow in—albeit at a reduced pace—and the boats and ships go down the ways into the water, but the overall panorama has seen tremendous sea changes as the business has shifted.Maritime businesses worldwide have been grappling with currents both internal and external.

29 Sep 2020

Eastern Lays Keel for Weeks Marine's New Hopper Dredge

(Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding Group)

Eastern Shipbuilding Group conducted the keel laying for the new trailing suction hopper dredge (TSHD) it is building for Weeks Marine.This new U.S. flag dredge R.B. Weeks, ordered by Weeks Marine in April, is be constructed at Eastern’s Allanton Shipyard in Panama City, Fla., for scheduled delivery in early 2023. Steel cutting commenced on August 19.R.B. Weeks is the second TSHD Eastern is building for the Cranford, N.J.-based marine construction and dredging contractor, following the Magdalen delivered in December of 2017.The R.B. Weeks is named in honor of Richard B.

28 Sep 2020

More than 400,000 Seafarers Are Still Stuck at Sea

© Eugene / Adobe Stock

The number of mariners stranded on ships at sea is steadily rising as the crew change crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic continues with no end in sight.Travel and transit restrictions in place due to COVID-19 have severely impacted seafarers, the number of crew members whose contracts have been extended by several months has continued to rise despite multiple pleas to governments to designate them as essential key workers and to facilitate their travel.According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO)…

27 Sep 2020

Panama Canal Authority Wins $265 Mln Arbitration Case

(File photo: Panama Canal Authority)

The Panama Canal Authority said it won an arbitration ruling on Friday for $265 million to be returned to it from the consortium that built a third set of locks for the key transoceanic waterway.The authority cited a decision from a Miami-based arbitration board it said was issued earlier on Friday.The GUPC consortium, which includes Spain's Sacyr SA and Italy's Impregilo International Infrastructures NV, no longer exists. Neither company could not be reached for comment after hours on Friday.Initiated in 2015, the case centered on disputed cost overruns largely dealing with concrete quality.

24 Sep 2020

Owner of Fire-hit Tanker to Pay $1.8 Mln for Sri Lanka's Help

(Photo: Sri Lanka Air Force)

The owners the New Diamond supertanker which caught fire with a cargo of two million barrels of oil aboard has agreed to pay 340 million rupees ($1.84 million) to Sri Lanka for its help in extinguishing the blaze and averting disaster.The interim claim is for services provided by the Sri Lankan navy, air force, ports authority and Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) after the fire on Sept. 3 until Sept 15, said Nishara Jayaratne, coordination officer of Sri Lanka's Attorney General.Insurers of the vessel West of England will settle the bill…

16 Sep 2020

Sri Lanka Seeks at Least $1.9 Million from Owner of Fire-hit Tanker

(Photo: Sri Lanka Navy)

Sri Lanka is seeking at least 340 million rupees ($1.9 million) from the owner of the stricken oil supertanker New Diamond for assistance given to the vessel since it caught fire on Sept. 3, the coordinating officer to the country's attorney general said.Nishara Jayaratne said the cost was for services provided by various departments including the Sri Lankan navy, air force, ports authority and Marine Environment Protection Authority, among others, up until Sept. 15.The fully-loaded vessel is still in Sri Lankan waters…

14 Sep 2020

Sri Lanka Plugs Leak on Fire-stricken Supertanker

Credit: Sri Lanka Navy

Sri Lanka has initiated repair work on the ruptured fuel oil tank in the engine room of a stricken fully loaded oil supertanker after plugging the leak, the country's Navy said.The supertanker is currently 52 nautical miles (96 kms) from the Sri Lankan coast, Navy spokesman Indika de Silva said. "Salvors are on board, they plugged the leak and the repair is still going...They have vacated the ruptured tank and transferred the dirty water into the ballast section," de Silva told Reuters. A fire broke out in the engine room of the Greek-owned New Diamond tanker on Sept.

11 Sep 2020

Sri Lanka Working to Stop Fuel Leak from Fire-hit Oil Tanker

Credit: Sri Lanka Navy

A salvage team is still trying to plug a fuel leak from the fire-stricken New Diamond oil supertanker, Sri Lankan Navy spokesman Indika de Silva said on Friday.The tanker, which is carrying the about 2 million barrels of oil, caught fire on Sept. 3 and is currently 45 nautical miles (83 km), off Sri Lanka's east coast.The fire has been extinguished but the New Diamond has left two long trails of fuel oil after the Navy towed it out to sea.Authorities want to avoid damage to the…

11 Sep 2020

MOL to Spend $9.4 Mln on Mauritius Oil Spill Clean-up

© ohrim / Adobe Stock

Japan's Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd said on Friday it would spend about 1 billion yen ($9.42 million) on measures to help Mauritius, including the clean-up of the island's mangrove forests and contribution to an environmental recovery fund.A bulk carrier owned by Japan's Nagashiki Shipping and chartered by Mitsui OSK ran aground on a reef in Mauritius on July 25 and later began leaking oil, causing a marine ecological disaster around the Indian Ocean island."The owner of the ship takes primary legal responsibility…

10 Sep 2020

Sri Lanka: Fire-hit Tanker Towed Further Offshore as Wind Picks Up

Credit: Sri Lanka Navy

The Sri Lankan navy has towed a fire-stricken supertanker further out to sea to keep it off the coast of the Indian Ocean island after the wind picked up strength and changed direction, a spokesman said on Thursday.The tanker, loaded with 2 million barrels oil, was 50 nautical miles (95 km) from the east coast and moving in a northerly direction, the navy spokesman, Indika de Silva, said. Earlier, it had been headed southwest.The stricken vessel has raised fears of an environmental disaster…

09 Sep 2020

Sri Lanka Pursues Legal Action Against Tanker's Owner After Fire

(Credit: Sri Lanka Navy)

Sri Lanka will take legal action against the owner of the oil supertanker that caught fire on Thursday as there is a large leakage of bunker oil from the stricken vessel, an official at the Marine Environment Protection Authority said.“We are deciding whether to claim criminal liability or civil liability or both,” Jagath Gunesekara, Deputy General Manager of the Authority said. He said action will be filed under Sri Lankan laws protecting the marine ecosystem.Greece-based Porto…

08 Sep 2020

Panama Canal Launches Tender for Water Management System

© Matthias Koch / Adobe Stock

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.

31 Aug 2020

Alberta Oil Shipped Through Panama Canal to Atlantic Canada

© Amtek Marine /

On July 20, the tanker Cabo de Hornos delivered an estimated 450,000 barrels of crude oil to the Irving Oil refinery’s Canaport storage facilities in Saint John, N.B.What made Cabo de Hornos’s delivery different was that it was the first time crude oil had arrived in Saint John by ship from Alberta. It came via the Trans Mountain pipeline to the Westbridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, B.C., and then through the Panama Canal.By the end of April next year, a second tanker will arrive at Canaport carrying 350,000 to one million barrels of Western Canadian crude oil.

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