Climate change forces surcharge for ships transiting Canal

 
824Views 8Comments Posted 13/01/2020

For the first time since the first ship passed through the Panama Canal in 2014, a price tag will be put on the freshwater used for each lock. The additional charge will depend on the level of the lakes: the lower the water level, the higher the cost of transit

Climate change is behind the imposition.., On  Monday, January 13 the Canal administrator, Ricaurte Vásquez, announced that from  February 15 they will charge an additional fee for the use of water during each transit.

Last year there were unprecedented low levels of rainfall - 34% less than the average in October and 27% less in November - added to irreversible effects of climate change on the water sources used by the Canal for locks. The Canal administrator announced immediate actions to address the lack of water. The most important is the surcharge for freshwater which has two components: A fixed charge of $10,000 for each vessel 91 feet wide or more and .a variable charge depending on the tonnage of the ship and that depends on the level of Gatun Lake, and that will go from a minimum of 1% with the lake at its maximum level and 10% with the lake at its minimum level.

Vásquez admitted that the measure could cause a reduction in transits,. But the reduction in tonnage will be recovered from the surcharge.

 The situation will be 'short-term' in relation to the phenomenon of rains, if it starts to rain earlier for example, but the surcharge will be maintained to give sustainability to the new investments that are in process to ensure new sources of water to continue operating, in addition to guaranteeing the water supply for human consumption.



Comments 8

user
MarcoP

That is exactly what I said at the very beginning. Bring the prices up, so some ships will have to find other passage. That way the traffic will decrease with the same revenue. If the water level (next year) allows to lower the price, then it will be done as the canal would like to stay the most cost-efficient solution for marine transportation between Pacific and Atlantic. And the necessity to charge every user for water consumption (instead flat fee) is a must anyway.

7 days ago
user
Civil Engineer

But, should the first sentence read "1914" instead of "2014"?

Last week
user
Civil Engineer

Of those who have commented so far, at least "Panama" knows what he is talking about. Thank you.

Last week
user
Rob

Yeah blame it on climate change. What a crock. I call it piss-poor planning by the geniuses who "run" the canal. Did they not think that increasing the capacity of the locks would cause more water to be used? The whole system is flawed because of the reliance on the fresh water flush... they probably could have remedied it a long time ago but, as usual, nothing happens until it's a crisis...and what better "crisis" than "climate change" to blame it on. What a CROCK!

Last week
user
Panama

To those who comment and do not know they do not us sea water .only fresh .2nd since these lakes also supply drinking water to the city they need to put water meters on every house .a flat rate leak never gets fixed

Last week
user
Rod

so $10000 extra is going to bring more sea water. what happens when some ships plan not to use the canal then less money is collected. maybe the politicians need more money to corrupt

Last week
user
whiskeytangofoxtrot

This is akin to the hotel "resort fees" or airline fuel surcharge. A money grab, Will the funds collected be used to pump seawater for canal operations ?

Last week
user
Craigo

Lots of luck trying to charge for water. Let's see, the level is lower so the ship can carry less cargo, and the lower the water the more ACP is going to charge the ship, so it will not take the bean counters long to figure out it pays to not use the canal. Plus soon the NW passage will be open most of the year. Lots of Luck ACP

Last week
The comments are the responsibility of each author who freely expresses his opinion and not that of Newsroom Panama.
Please enter a valid email.
Please enter username.
Please, enter a valid message.
Please validate that it is not a robot.