Welcome to the Panama Weekly News Roundup! Here’s the latest.
Crippled Icebreaker Healy To Get Complex Rebuild; Huge Engine Heads To Panama Canal
The Coast Guard is in the opening stages of what promises to be a long, complex and expensive repair of its largest icebreaker, which suffered a crippling engine fire in August.
The service should know in the coming days where the repair work on the USCGC Healy will take place, but the effort promises to be mammoth, involving cutting the ship open to remove its 106-ton engine, and floating a new engine by barge from Baltimore through the Panama Canal to the West Coast.
The fire occurred just after Healy picked up a group of 11 scientists in Seward, Alaska to run experiments on ice flow patterns in the Arctic. The ship eventually sailed home to Washington State under its own power. As a result of the incident, the Coast Guard canceled all Arctic operations at sea.
Source: Breaking Defense
Volumes Decline at Panama Canal in 2020 Due to Trade War and Pandemic.
The Panama Canal Authority reported fiscal year-end results for 2020, which like, most parts of the shipping industry, were impacted by global economic factors. As a result, volumes at the Panama Canal were largely flat with declines in both the number of transit and tonnage versus projections.
Commenting on the factors that impacted the Panama Canal’s performance in 2020, the authority highlighted it was a year which began with the effects of the U.S.-China trade war as well as tightening environmental regulations, all of which impacted the shipping industry. Despite that, the authority reported that the year, which began on October 1, 2019, had begun strong, exceeding expectations.
Source: Maritime Executive
Panama Canal, Ask the Experts: Daniel Muschett and Jose Reyes.
The need for a sustainable supply of water at the Panama Canal has been a top priority since the Canal experienced its fifth driest year in 70 years in 2019. Since then, the Canal implemented a freshwater fee, extended water conservation measures, and made changes to its booking system.
As a result of these actions, the Panama Canal now offers a maximum authorized draft of 50 feet at the Neopanamax Locks, a significant improvement from the 43-foot draft in July 2019, confirming the effectiveness of said measures.
However, there is still a critical need for the Panama Canal to adopt a long-term solution to securing its water supply for the next 50 years.
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
How to Enjoy Panama’s Old City on a Budget
Panama’s Casco Viejo neighborhood is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. It’s also home to the seat of Panama’s government, and one of the hottest areas for both residential and commercial real estate.
In other words, Casco is the “place to be”, and that means that by nature, prices for goods and services tend to be higher. Casco has lots of luxury options when it comes to dining, shopping, and seeing the sights, but there are also some great deals to be had, too! If you want to see the best of Casco on a budget, here are some easy-to-follow tips. Check it out!
Source: POLS Blog