Guidance for LNG Carriers Transiting the Panama Canal (1st, 2014)


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***Canceled and replaced by: Passage Planning Guide - Panama Canal and Approaches, 1st Edition 2020

Title: Guidance for LNG Carriers Transiting the Panama Canal
Edition: First
Product Code: WS1433K
ISBN 13: 978-1-85609-647-8 (9781856096478), ISBN 10: 1-85609-647-5 (1856096475)
Published Date: June 2014
Weight: 1.20 kg

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Guidance for LNG Carriers Transiting the Panama Canal (1st, 2014)

The Panama Canal (third set of locks) expansion project, when completed, should enable the majority of LNG carriers to transit the Canal. Historically, LNG carriers have been unable to transit the Panama Canal, mainly due to size restrictions. SIGTTO and the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) took a proactive and consultative approach, identifying issues that may need to be addressed to permit the safe and efficient transit of LNG carriers through the Canal.

This Guide is the result of these consultations and is intended to provide practical guidance on the ACP requirements for the transit of LNG carriers through the Panama Canal

When compiling this Guide, SIGTTO and the ACP referred to relevant ACP regulations in force at such time, as well as to SIGTTO guidance, industry standards and best practices. However, users of this Guide should be aware that if new regulations or requirements are deemed necessary for the safe transit of any vessels (or more specifically LNG carriers) in the future, the ACP may implement them at any time.

This Guide also contains guidance on safety, minimum equipment levels and what might be considered to be good operating practices. This Guide is not a substitute for consulting the up to date applicable regulations and legislation (both national and international). For the avoidance of doubt, where such regulations and/or legislation conflict with the guidance in thisGuide, such regulations and/or legislation shall always be followed in preference to this Guide.

This Guide is only applicable to LNG carriers that transit the Panama Canal via the Cocoli and Agua Clara locks and, notwithstanding the content of this Guide, the ACP may modify the transit requirements for LNG carriers at any time.


Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations




1 New locks .

1.1 Atlantic Entrance

1.2 Pacific Entrance


2 Overview

2.1 Organisation

2.2 Transiting the Panama Canal

2.3 Panama Regulations


3 Safety

3.1 Managing LNG Carrier Transits

3.2 Considerations for LNG in Port Areas

3.3 Risk Assessment

3.4 Contingency Planning

3.5 Prevention of Fatigue

3.6 Language


4 Pre-Arrival


5 Security

5.1 General

5.2 Security Communication

5.3 Security Levels

5.4 Identification


6 Pollution Prevention


7 Navigation

7.1 Abort Points

7.2 Critical Areas

7.3 Channel Widths

7.4 Direction of Buoyage in the Panama Canal

7.5 Speed

7.6 Transit Restrictions

7.7 Communications

7.8 Sample Transit Plan


8 Pilotage

8.1 Boarding Areas

8.2 AIS Plug

8.3 Number of Pilots

8.4 Training and Simulation


9 Mooring

9.1 Lock Procedure

9.2 Mooring Fittings

9.3 Ropes

9.4 Mooring Gang


10 Anchoring and Mooring Areas

10.1 General Considerations

10.2 Anchorage Area Restrictions

10.3 Anchorages

10.4 Contingency Anchorage and Mooring Areas

10.5 Stores, Bunkering, Crew Change and other Activities


11 Tugs

11.1 Type

11.2 Atlantic Side

11.3 Pacific Side

11.4 Methods for Securing Tugs

11.5 Tug Assistance

11.6 Contingency

11.7 Training


12 LNG Cargo Carriage

12.1 Loaded Passage

12.2 Ballast Passage

12.3 Cargo Operations


13 Cargo Tank Vapour Management

13.1 Excess Vapour Management

13.2 Cargo Vapour Management

13.3 Emergency Venting


14 Propulsion Overview

14.1 Engine Starting Requirement

14.2 Response

14.3 Propulsion System Types

14.4 Bow Thruster


15 Bridge Visibility

15.1 Comparison Tables of Navigation Bridge Visibility of LNG Carriers (Moss Type and Membrane Type)

15.2 ACP Visibility Requirements

15.3 Draught and Trim

15.4 Steering Lights


16 Environmental

16.1 Wind

16.2 Current

16.3 Tidal

16.4 Wave Height

16.5 Depths and Potential Seasonal Draught Restrictions

16.6 Density

16.7 Evening Time


17 Contingency Planning

17.1 ACP Risk Prevention and Control

17.2 Collision

17.3 Grounding

17.4 Gas Release/Loss of Containment

17.5 Fire

17.6 Equipment Failure

17.7 Loss of Power

17.8 Dead Ship.




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