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Hot Port News from GAC

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Hot Port News from GAC

Pilbara, Australia

Panama Canal, Panama

New deck fittings requirements
Monday, September 23, 2019, Pilbara, Australia

Pilbara Port Authority has advised that new requirements for Capesize vessels deck fittings will come into effect on 1 February 2021.

As a result of ongoing risk management strategies, the port has seen a significant increase in the towage fleet capability specifically relating to executing indirect towage techniques on Capesize vessels manoeuvring in the harbour or shipping channel. The Port Authority has been collecting data on Capesize vessels bitts and Panama / roller leads to further understand the profile of the deck fittings across the Capesize fleet calling the port. It has also reviewed multiple significant incidents involving the failure/near failure of ships’ deck fittings when used for towing purposes.

Approximately 50% of Capesize vessels have bitts and leads assigned for towage operations which are not capable of being used by the port’s current tug fleet in an emergency which may require maximum tug power to be used.

The Port Authority wishes to work with ship operators to further complement the capability of the current tug fleet and align with the port’s risk mitigation strategies. To achieve this, all Capesize vessels (vessel deadweight 120,000 or more) must have at least one set of bitts and Panama leads / roller fairleads on the vessel’s aft deck at or near the centreline to be rated to a minimum of 120 T safe working load (SWL). The bitts and leads being considered in this instance should be able to be used together for safe towage operations.

Due consideration has been given to the nature of the structural modifications required to the vessel’s bitts and leads and possible timeframes associated with undertaking this upgrade.

The requirement for Capesize vessels calling the Port to have a set of 120 T SWL bitts and leads will come into force on 1 February 2021. This should allow adequate time for the necessary modifications to be made during the vessel’s next scheduled dry dock or other opportune time.

For further details and information about operations in Australia contact shipping.australia@gac.com

Lane outages at Pedro Miguel and Gatun locks
Monday, September 23, 2019, Panama Canal, Panama

Beginning at 0001 hours on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, until 2359 hours on Tuesday, October 01, 2019 (8 days), the East lane of Pedro Miguel Locks will be out of service for scheduled maintenance.

In addition, beginning at 1800 hours on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 through 0600 hours on Saturday, September 29, 2019 (3.5 days), the East Lane at Gatun Locks will be out of service for scheduled maintenance.

As a result, and in accordance with the rules governing the Transit Reservation System (NT Notice to Shipping No. N-7-2019), Condition 2 for the Panamax locks will be in effect from Tuesday, September 24, 2019, until Tuesday, October 1, 2019…

(For further details and information about operations in Panama contact GAC Panama at operations.panama@gac.com)

Source: Panama Canal Authority Advisory to Shipping No.A-36-2019 dated 19 September 2019

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