Vessels transiting Panama Canal today must use light bunker fuel

  Apr 26--VESSELS are required to switch from heavy fuel oil, namely, residual fuel, to light fuel (distillate fuel), before transiting the Panama Canal.

  The order was contained in an advisory to shipping issued by the Panama Canal Authority (No.A-15-2017) dated April 19, reports GAC Hot Port News.

  Vessels intending to transit that must first anchor at the Pacific or Atlantic Anchorages. Vessels planning to call at the Pacific or Atlantic port terminals will be permitted to use heavy (residual) fuel during their stay at the anchorage or at the berth.

  However, these vessels will be required to perform a changeover from heavy to light fuel that is used to operate their propulsion engines before entering canal waters.

  Vessels that opt to burn heavy fuel in their auxiliary engines, boilers and other ancillary equipment, must change to light fuel, at least two hours before their transit.

  Vessels will be deemed ready for canal transit only when the changeover to light fuel has been completed and they are operating on distillate fuel alone.

  Vessels that arrive at canal waters with the sole intention to visit either the Pacific or Atlantic port terminal and will not transit, may be allowed to proceed to and from the port terminal burning heavy fuel, including the main propulsion engines.

  These vessels will not be subject to the fuel changeover requirement.

  All vessels that arrive with the intention of transiting, shall record the fuel changeover in their engine room logbook and/or fuel oil changeover logbook.

  The logbook entries shall specify the date and time of commencement and ending of the changeover from heavy fuel to light fuel, as well as the sulphur content of fuels.

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