Panama Canal announces increase in draft due to increased rains. - Expat Community

Panama Canal announces increase in draft due to increased rains.

Jun 4, 2024 | News & Articles, Panama | 0 comments

by Agencia EFE

The draft increase was forecasted for June 15. Now ships with a draft of 13.71 meters will be able to transit, a figure higher than the 13.4 meters that existed until now.
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) confirmed, through a statement issued on May 30, that the increase in rains recorded in recent weeks will allow the draft increase, which was planned for June 15, to be brought forward.

“The authorized draft for vessels transiting through the neopanamax locks will be 13.71 meters (45 feet),” says a notice sent by the Panama Canal Authority to shipping companies and published on its website.

Until now, the draft of vessels had been reduced to 13.4 meters (44 feet), but with the increase in water level, it can be expanded to 13.71 meters (45 feet) and a total of 31 vessels daily.

The news comes at a time when the maritime route is recovering from a prolonged drought caused by the impact of the El Niño phenomenon on Gatun Lake (450 km²) and Alajuela Lake (50 km²), which are essential for its operation.

The impact of the El Niño phenomenon caused the maritime route, which operates with fresh water from Gatun Lake (450 km²) and Alajuela Lake (50 km²), to reduce its transit. The route went from an average of 39 vessels daily to 22 at the end of 2023, at the worst moment of the crisis.

Additionally, the draft of the vessels was reduced to 14 meters (44 feet), which caused the ships to carry less cargo through the 80 km long Panamanian route.

The main users of the maritime route, through which 6% of world maritime trade passes, are the United States, China, and Japan.

In fiscal year 2023, the Canal had $3.344 billion in revenue from vessel transit and the provision of services.

Historic drought
Data from the ACP shows that 2023 ended as the third driest year in the history of the Panama Canal watershed (the driest was 1997), with a 30% reduction in the amount of rain.

“The repercussions were not long in coming; this extensive drought allowed us to store only 50% of the water necessary to meet the resource demands during the dry season of 2024,” the authority said in a statement.

“It was necessary to implement extreme water-saving measures and even restrict the number of daily transits starting in late July 2023, a measure never before implemented,” it added.


Related Post

What is going on in your part of the world? Are there any news of relevance you believe should be translated to english? Comment below!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe for Weekly News Summaries