Clean Ships Jump the Queue at Panama Canal

By MarEx 2016-10-31
On Monday, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) unveiled a new recognition program for clean operators that will help them to get ahead of the pack for transit bookings.

“We’re rewarding those who make conscious efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest in technology that will make shipping even more efficient,” says Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano.

The ACP calls the new system “Environmental Premium Ranking.” The Canal has an existing ranking system for customers which it uses when figuring out bookings for transits, based in part on how often a vessel operator uses the canal.

The new system gives two levels of extra recognition to clean ships, with many ways of qualifying. Vessels with EEDI efficiency numbers 20 percent below baseline get Level 1; 30 percent below baseline, Level 2. There are similar provisions for the Environmental Ship Index and for NOx emissions, and any vessel with an LNG-fueled engine qualifies for Level 2 – giving LNG carriers an automatic leg up.

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Finland to operate world’s 1st LNG-powered icebreaker

October 31

HELSINKI — Finland says it will start to operate the world’s first icebreaker powered by liquefied natural gas on Tuesday as the number of LNG-powered vessels is steadily increasing in the Nordic country that is surrounded by the Baltic Sea and is heavily reliant on maritime transport.

The state-owned operator Arctia Ltd. said on Monday that the 128 million-euro ($140 million) Polaris icebreaker, which also runs on low-sulphur diesel, is equipped with two large LNG containers allowing it two operate for 10 days in rough ice conditions without refueling.

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