On January 1, 2020, engineer Ilya Espino de Marotta became the first woman to serve as the deputy administrator of the Panama Canal. Ms. Marotta has more than 30 years of experience in the Panama Canal in positions as executive manager of resource management and project controls before the Expansion Program.
Panama Canal Expansion
With 2019 closing, the Panama Canal celebrated 20 years under Panamanian administration, from December 31, 1999, having evolved to a competitive, innovative business, adapting to digitalization and improving its global trade through relations.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) published its Review of Maritime Transport 2019 earlier in the year, addressing the shifting landscape and range of challenges, further highlighting the rising concern of climate change. Thus, as the Panama Canal underlines, climate change adaptation and mitigation have become urgent priorities across the maritime industry, leading to changes such as the IMO 2020 regulation or rise of climate-conscious shipping finance portfolios around the world.
There are several variations related to ships sailing on high seas. Panamax vessels, Aframax vessels, and Suezmax vessels are some of the most prevalent types. But what do they mean and what kind of ships do they represent? Well, the answer is relatively easy, and it lies on the area that each ship caters.
The Panama Canal informed that on May 12 it welcomed Qatargas’ Al Safliya, the first Q-Flex and the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker to ever transit the waterway. The tanker features 315 meters in length and 50 meters in beam, having an overall cargo capacity of 210,000 meters3 of LNG. The milestone transit also highlighted the Canal’s environmental benefits because of its ability to help vessels reduce the distance and duration of their trips.
On March 28 the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) voted to approve the purchase of two new 100-foot gauge container gantry cranes to be used at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal.
The expanded Panama Canal met on March 22, 1.000 days of operation, exceeding expectations and redefining global trade routes. From the first days of its operations in 2016, the waterway saw an increase in cargo tonnage, as a result of the transfer of new segments and new line services.
The Panama Canal signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Brazilian Port of Itaquí, to promote the shipment of grains and other cargoes in the commercial route of northern Brazil to countries located in the Pacific, through the Canal.
The Panama Canal registered the transit of its 4,000th Neopanamax vessel through the Expanded Canal. The LNG tanker ‘Maria Energy’ completed the transit on 29 July, traveling southbound from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, underscoring the steady growth of the LNG segment.
The Panama Canal is set to provide additional transit opportunities, by lifting self-imposed daylight and encounter restrictions for LNG vessels, starting from 1 October 2018, the deputy administrator Manuel Benitez announced on the sidelines of a conference in Washington, on 28 June.
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