Drought restrictions lifted at the Panama Canal – Weekly News Roundup, September 4th.

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Welcome to the Panama Weekly Offshore Roundup! Here’s the latest.

Drought Restrictions Lifted on Larger Ships Entering the Canal

A recent drought during Panama’s rainy season forced the government and Canal Authority to take some drastic measures regarding large ships entering the Canal. Thankfully, after nearly a month of worry, those restrictions have been lifted.

The ACP indicated that the water level of Lake Gatun remains below seasonal average and that El Nino continues to affect the region. However, the amount of rain falling on the canal in recent days, coupled with water-saving measures and efforts to deepen the canal, have relieved the pressure.

This means ships with a draft of up to 12.04 meters, the canal’s current maximum capacity, can sail through unimpeded. The now-cancelled restrictions would have limited ships by a few centimeters, restricting passage to those with a draft of 11.89 meters. Yet, this small reduction would have excluded 18.5 percent of ships going through the waterway.

Source: Xinhua News


Scientists Discover Fossil of Rare Dolphin Species in Panama

Earlier this week, scientists from the Smithsonian Institute discovered a new species of dolphin in Panama, getting a detailed historical look on how dolphins evolved and their prevalence in the region.

The team named it Isthminia Panamensis. The specimen not only revealed a new species to science, but also shed new light onto the evolution of today’s freshwater river dolphin species.

It consists of half a skull, lower jaw with an almost entire set of conical teeth, right shoulder blade and two small bones from the dolphin’s flipper. In comparison with other river dolphins–both fossil and living–the shape and size of these parts suggests that the full specimen may have been more than 9 feet in length.

Source: Nature World Report


Leaks Sink Deadline for Panama Canal Expansion

A water leak in Panama’s Cocoli section of the Panama Canal Expansion has caused concern this week, and developers along with government officials are desperately trying to find a solution. But can the solution come quick enough to prevent a delay?

United Groups for the Canal (GUPC), the consortium responsible for the expansion works, is investigating the matter to give Panamanians an answer on whether the new section of the waterway will be ready by April 2016, as authorities promised. GUPC and Montgomery Watzon Harza, the firm tasked with designing the new lockheads, are currently working on a strategy to repair the crack and seal the leak.

“[We aim] for the best quality. We won’t accept low-quality repairs. This is a new lockhead, and we expect it to work properly. We aim for a lifespan of 100 years,” Panama Canal administrator Jorge Luis Quijano told HispanTv.

Source: PanAm Post


Renting vs. Buying: How to make the best choice in Panama Real Estate

When relocating to Panama, whether for short or long term, it’s important to get a good feel for the local real estate market first. Luckily, Panama is a hot bed for available and good-value real estate. In our latest blog post, we go over the pros and cons of renting vs. buying. Here is an excerpt.

Why rent real estate in Panama?

There’s a stigma often attributed to renting that says it’s only good for short-term stays, and that it’s not cost effective. While in some cases this can be true, it’s certainly not an absolute, especially in Panama. Renting real estate in Panama is big amongst expats, and the market is hot in practically all areas of the country. In fact, even if your plan is to buy real estate, we recommend renting first to get a feel for your area and the lifestyle of living in Panama as a whole. As a foreign tourist or resident, you can still sign local leases, and owners are often very open about lease lengths to better suit your needs.

Continue reading about renting vs. buying real estate in Panama

About Manoj Chatlani

Manoj Chatlani is a Senior Partner at POLS Attorneys, a full-service law firm in Panama City, Panama. Specializing in offshore services, including asset protection, estate planning, offshore banking, and offshore corporations, as well as Panama immigration and real estate transactions, POLS Attorneys offers clients a streamlined solution to all their Panama legal needs. Manoj is a Panamanian lawyer and holds a law degree from USMA and earned a Masters in Communication Law and Panama Tax law.

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