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Hot Port News from GAC

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Long Beach, United States
Panama Canal, Panama
Calcasieu Ship Channel, United States
Bridge replacement project
Thursday, September 28, 2017, Long Beach, United States
As the project to replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge is nearing the phase that will impact waterway traffic, the Port of Long Beach Waterway Traffic Coordinator has provided the below brief overview of bridge construction and tentative schedules of Back Channel use.

There will be two main bridge-related operations in the Back Channel:

  1. Late October 2017: Bridge contractor plans on utilizing two barges in the channel, along each side of the channel, just north of the Desmond Bridge.
  2. Spring 2018: Begin construction of the main span over the channel.

The first stage, scheduled to commence in late October, will consist of two barges delivering and subsequently lifting equipment, which will take approximately two weeks, one week for each tower.  There will be two days of discharging equipment at tower bases on the east and west side of the channel.  Both the hours and days will be broadcast prior to channel usage.

The second stage of bridge construction is the erection and building of twelve bridge deck segments spanning the channel. This requires a barge to spud down and will restrict hours of Back Channel usage. The preliminary schedule for this operation is spring of 2018 (tentatively April).  It is currently estimated that this barge will be in the channel for 18 days of each month, for a period of seven (7) months, to complete work over the water. The days and hours will be communicated in advance to channel users by the USCG, and through courtesy notifications by the POLB.  At this time, the proposed schedule for channel safety zone hours are 0800-1400 and 2000-0200.

Bridge contractor working hours are Monday through Saturday, from 0600-1630 and 1800-0430.

All waterway work is subject to US Coast Guard approval.  The Port, USCG, Bridge contractor and Jacobsen Pilot Service are coordinating and maintaining open communication to allow for the best possible service to all channel users.

For information about operations in the United States contact GAC USA at usa@gac.com

Modifications to booking cancellation fees
Thursday, September 28, 2017, Panama Canal, Panama
Booking cancellation fees [for the Panama Canal] were last modified in February 2008, in order to meet the needs of the booking system at that time. With the opening of the expanded Canal and the incorporation of Neopanamax vessels into the Transit Reservation system, revisions are once again necessary.

Effective October 15, 2017, the booking cancellation fees will be as follows:

Notice Period (in advance of required arrival time: Over 365 days
Cancellation Fee (the greater of): 10% of booking fee or $500

Notice Period (in advance of required arrival time: 365 days to over 180 days
Cancellation Fee (the greater of): 20% of booking fee or $600

Notice Period (in advance of required arrival time: Over 90 days to 180 days
Cancellation Fee (the greater of): 50% of booking fee or $900

Notice Period (in advance of required arrival time: Over 21 days to 90 days
Cancellation Fee (the greater of): 60% of booking fee or $1,100

Notice Period (in advance of required arrival time: Over 7 days to 21 days
Cancellation Fee (the greater of): 70% of booking fee or $1,300

Notice Period (in advance of required arrival time: 4-7 days
Cancellation Fee (the greater of): 80% of booking fee

Notice Period (in advance of required arrival time: Less than 4 days
Cancellation Fee (the greater of): 100% of booking fee

We believe that these changes will encourage clients who intend to cancel booking slots to release them earlier, thus increasing slot availability and allowing sufficient time to offer them to other interested vessels.

(For information about operations in Panama contact GAC-Wilford & McKay at gac-wilfordmckay.panama@gac.com)

Source: Panama Canal Authority Advisory to Shipping No.A-35-2017 dated 27 September 2017

Public Holiday declared
Thursday, September 28, 2017, Nigeria
The Federal Government of Nigeria has declared Monday 2 October 2017 a Public Holiday to mark the 57thIndependence Day celebration.

GAC Nigeria’s office will be closed on this date and normal work will resume on Tuesday 3 October. Operations will be handled by selected staff by mobile communication.

For information about operations in Nigeria, contact GAC Nigeria at nigeria@gac.com

Amendment to draft restriction
Thursday, September 28, 2017, Calcasieu Ship Channel, United States

Effective at 10:00 a.m. on September 27, the following restrictions are in effect:

A fresh water draft restriction of 39-feet for all waters of the Calcasieu Ship Channel.

Mariners are reminded to proceed with extreme caution. Available post-storm assessments indicate potential shoaling around the Calcasieu Ship Channel Bar. Mariners are directed to report all wrecks, obstructions, oil spills, ATON discrepancies or other hazardous conditions to MSU Lake Charles.

(For information about operations in the United States contact GAC USA at usa@gac.com)

Source: U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit, Port Arthur, Texas Marine Safety Information Bulletin 30-17 (LC) dated September 27, 2017

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