101/17/Gen.Inf. Panama Canal: Maneuvering fuel requirements revised

The Panama Canal Authority has issued advisory in order to inform on a few revised requirements regarding the maneuvering operations in Canal waters, effective as of January 2017.

In particular, since January 1, 2001, the Panama Canal Authority has required vessels maneuvering in Canal waters, to switch from heavy fuel to light fuel. This requirement was included in the revised version of 2016. Beginning in 2017, the aforementioned requirement on maneuvering fuels was removed from the revised version and included in a new one.

The following definitions apply:
* Light fuel is a distillate marine fuel as classified by ISO 8216-1:2010, and having the specifications detailed in ISO 8217:2010
* Heavy fuel is a residual marine fuel as classified by ISO 8216-1:2010, and having the specifications detailed in ISO 8217:2010
* Hybrid fuel is a blended product with specifications that resemble some types of heavy fuel oils (HFO), and are designed to minimize the various operational problems presented by the change-over process from heavy fuel oil to light fuel oil , while having good net calorific values and complying with statutory environmental requirements. Due to their recent development, hybrid fuels are not categorized within the ISO 8217 standard.

The Panama Canal Authority further informs that the light fuel utilized shall have minimum flash point of 60 oC regardless of its classification and be in compliance with MARPOL, Annex VI in regards to the sulfur content cap, which is currently set at 3.5% m/m (Panama Canal waters are not emission control areas).
Moreover, vessels equipped with an operational and approved exhaust gas cleaning system (scrubbers) and vessels operating on low-sulfur hybrid fuels are not required to switch to light fuel (distillate marine fuel).
Further details maybe found in the advisory herebelow:

Source : APC

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Thank you & Best Regards,

Eng. Dimitrios Nikolaos Spanos
Lead Maritime Auditor / Principal Surveyor
Member of IRCA, IIMS, ELINT, HELMEPA & Nautical Institute

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