PANAMA FLASH! – Draft Adjustment in the Neopanamax Locks
ADV 17- 2023
Despite the ACP’s continuous efforts to minimize draft restrictions by implementing water-saving measures in the transit operation, the level of Gatun Lake has been falling faster than originally predicted. The precipitation in the Canal watershed for the first 11 days of April is approximately 70% below the historical average, and the water supplied by the rivers to the Canal’s watershed is 80% below average.
Due to the current situation, the ACP finds it necessary to update the maximum drafts already announced in Advisories to Shipping A-14-2023 and A-16-2023. Thus, effective April 19, 2023, the maximum authorized draft for vessels transiting the Neopanamax locks will be 14.48 m (47.5 feet) TFW, and effective April 27, 2023, the maximum authorized draft will be 14.33 m (47.0 feet) TFW. In addition, effective May 5, 2023, the maximum authorized draft will be 14.17 m (46.5 feet) TFW, and effective May 12, 2023, the maximum authorized draft will be 14.02 m (46.0 feet) TFW.
The maximum authorized drafts for the following weeks are summarized in the following table:
Vessels must comply with the maximum authorized draft at the time of transit. Since the waiting time varies from vessel to vessel depending on several factors, including booking status, Canal conditions, and number of vessels awaiting transit, it is possible that a vessel arrives in compliance with the maximum allowable draft, but a draft reduction becomes effective while the vessel is still awaiting transit. Therefore, the waiting time should be taken into consideration by vessels that intend to transit at or close to the maximum authorized draft at the time of arrival.
The ACP will continue to monitor the level of Gatun Lake and announce future draft adjustments in a timely manner.
Norton Lilly International (Panama) S.A.
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