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Marine Environment & Fuels

Panama Canal Authority issues advisory clarifying fuel switching requirements

The Panama Canal Authority has issued an advisory that states the move of a fuel switching requirement to make it more obvious to operators.

From January 2017 the requirement to switch from heavy fuel oil to light fuel (marine gas oil or diesel oil) when manoeuvring in canal waters has been removed from Notice to Shipping No – N10 Operational Equipment Tests and been placed in the OP Notice to Shipping N-1-2017 Vessel Requirements.

Although not an Emission Control Area, the requirement means that ships will need to switch from HFO to light fuel of no more than 3.5%.

Vessels using marine scrubbers or hybrid fuels are not required to switch to light fuel.

The reason for its move is that according to the Panama Canal Authority, it was not always noticeable in the original location and there was some confusion with it and the ECA requirements.  Its change of location hopes to make it more available and separate.

Read more information on heavy fuel oil and light fuel definitions according to the authority and see the advisory here.

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