Monday, April 24, 2017

Panama Canal to Enforce New Clean Fuel Regulations for Freight and Passenger Vessels

Authority Issues Modification Notice in Passageway
Shipping News Feature
PANAMA – The Panama Canal Authority has issued a Notice to Shipping that any freight or passenger vessel intending to transit the canal must switch from heavy fuel oil (HFO) to light, distillate fuel prior to entering Canal zone waters. Vessels with intentions to transit the Panama Canal that need to anchor at the Pacific or Atlantic Anchorages, or vessels that plan to call at the Pacific or Atlantic port terminals, will be permitted to use residual HFO fuel to operate their auxiliary engines, boilers and other ancillary equipment during their stay at the anchorage or at the berth. However, these vessels will be required to perform a changeover from HFO to distillate fuel that is used to operate their propulsion engines prior to entering Canal waters.

Vessels that opt to burn HFO in their auxiliary engines, boilers and other ancillary equipment must make the transition to light fuel operation at least two hours prior to the scheduled pilot time for their Canal transit. Vessels will be deemed ready for Canal transit only when the changeover to light fuel has been completed and all systems are operating only on distillate fuel.

Any ship that arrives at Canal waters with the sole intention to visit either the Pacific or Atlantic port terminal and will not transit the Canal may be allowed to proceed to and from the port terminal on heavy fuel, including the main propulsion engines. These vessels will not be subject to the fuel changeover requirement.

All vessels that arrive with the intention of transiting must record the fuel changeover in their engine room logbook and/or fuel oil changeover logbook. The logbook entries must specify the date and time of commencement and ending of the changeover from HFO to light fuel, as well as the sulphur content of fuels.