Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Innovari and ENSA Go Live With Interactive Energy Platform Project in Panama

Innovari and ENSA Go Live With Interactive Energy Platform Project in Panama. Through IEP Program, ENSA Partners With Customers and Integrates the Grid's Edge to Optimize Grid Utilization, Performance, and Reliability

Interactive Energy Platform (IEP) developer Innovari and Panamanian utility ENSA went live last week with a 1 megawatt (MW) IEP project, with plans for long-term expansion that will help the utility improve system utilization, meet growing energy demands with reduced infrastructure investment, and harden the grid to improve power reliability and the customer experience.

In this pilot, partially funded by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), ENSA is partnering with 12 commercial and industrial facilities to unlock affordable capacity through an IEP-enabled automated demand side management (ADSM) program, while leveraging the IEP to integrate capacity from two distributed generators (DG). The IEP is part of ENSA's 15-year concession, which began in 2013, with a commitment to invest in smart grid technology and promote grid efficiency, as the country faces 70 MW per year of demand growth.

The IEP extends ENSA's control to the edge of the grid and beyond. By connecting to the edge -- including customer buildings, DG, storage, solar, and more -- utilities can offer unique customer solutions, ensure grid security and reliability, and optimize their asset portfolio to affordably manage growing load, while balancing intermittent renewable energy resources.
In addition to load growth, Panama is expected to increase the percentage of renewable generation to 60 to 70 percent of its total mix, requiring responsive demand-side solutions like Innovari's IEP to integrate and balance these resources.

"One key reason we're planning to implement the IEP is to avoid power rationing during business hours that were necessary during Panama's recent energy crisis caused by the 2013-2014 drought," said Rafael Ríos, ENSA's engineering vice president. "The IEP will enable us to precisely reduce load to meet real-time capacity requirements during 'super peaks,' while synchronizing and dispatching standby generators and other edge-of-grid technologies to uphold grid reliability. We also see this as a valuable way to engage our customers."

As a true utility-operating resource, IEP capacity is available 400 or more hours annually, with real-time, two-way verifiable, closed-loop control back to the utility's operations center -- providing the predictability and reliability of a power plant. Participating end-use customers receive automation tools to control their building settings, ensuring no operational impact.

"Participating in ENSA's IEP program means we can easily contribute to the long-term sustainability and reliability of Panama's grid, while also realizing important benefits -- including incentives and free automation technology to help us better manage our long-term energy costs," said Jean Carlos Piña, energy manager, Grupo Tova, a chain of family clothing stores. "This is a simple way for us to help our nation avoid major energy crises like we've seen recently. We look forward to expanding store participation as the program grows."

Participating customers include a business complex serving as a headquarters location for Panamanian and multi-national corporations, supermarkets, big-box retail outlets, and a shopping mall.

"The IEP will deliver tremendous benefits to Panama's grid, in terms of increased energy reliability, system utilization and efficiency, and end-use customer engagement," said Manuel Arancibia, president, Innovari, Latin America. "The events we have run to date have been a resounding success and have delivered real-time, two-way verifiable, demand-side capacity to the utility -- all verified through ENSA's SCADA system. We are thrilled for what this pilot means for the utility, its customers, and the broader community to help ENSA improve how the world uses energy."

One of two utilities serving Panama, EPM Group-subsidiary ENSA faces a 530 MW peak and anticipated load growth of 30 MW per year. This growth will be driven by the projected increase in low-cost housing construction and infrastructure projects, including the expansion of the Panama Canal. Sixty percent of the country's capacity comes from hydroelectric power.

About Innovari:

Innovari's Interactive Energy Platform connects utilities, their customers, and their communities to optimize grid performance and improve how the world uses energy. Innovari's solutions attack the electric grid's core problem-the load duration curve-unlocking access to affordable capacity that improves system utilization, electric reliability, and utility financial performance, while Innovari's non-profit, Plugged into Kids™, brings together utilities and their customers to help the children in their communities. By providing utilities with analytics, automation, and control over edge-of-grid capacity resources, Innovari enables two-way, verifiable automated demand side management (ADSM); dynamic load and phase balancing; renewable and distributed energy resources integration.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Investors Buying Last Apartments in Panama’s Trump Ocean Club

Investors Buying Last Apartments in Panama’s Trump Ocean Club. There has been a flood of sales in Panama’s Trump Ocean Club in recent months, as the iconic waterfront tower enters the final closeout phase. Only 10 developer-controlled apartments are left in the sail-shaped tower, which has become the center of cultural and social life in Panama City.

Investors have been pouncing on the deals in the Trump since last October, when there were 50 apartments available. The last 10 should go quickly, with prices rising throughout Punta Pacifica, the neighborhood of skyscrapers on the waterfront.

The remaining apartments are priced anywhere from $75,000 to $100,000 under list price, as the developer looks for quick sales during the limited closeout phase. With prices starting in the $300,000s, the price levels are at 2006 pre-construction levels.

The apartments range from a 102-square-meter one bedroom to four 183-square-meter three-bedroom apartments. The three bedroom apartments are located on the waterfront side of the building with unobstructed ocean views; the five two-bedroom units available are all on upper floors.

Every apartment in the Trump has wide terraces and expansive views, as well as access to the Trump’s many restaurants and amenities. While there are resales available, the developer units are brand new and come with a 1-year warranty and new appliances.

The discounted apartments hit the market at a time when sales and investor interest are increasing throughout the city. Since 2014, we’ve seen a marked uptick in sales in Panama City, with prices increasing 7 to 10 percent a year in the top buildings. PPR’s sales were up 50 percent in the first quarter compared to a year earlier.

The top countries for foreign buyers include the U.S., Canada, Venezuela and Colombia. However, in the last year there has been an uptick in European buyers, specifically from Spain and Italy.

The majority are investors looking to take advantage of Panama’s many tax incentives and the high return-on-investment offered by high quality rental properties. Most of the buyers are paying with cash.

With its high-end towers on the waterfront, top-of-the-line amenities and close proximity to the best of the city, Punta Pacifica is attracting the highest demand and price appreciation in the city. This is the result of having the newest and most luxurious waterfront buildings, as well as the dwindling supply of apartments in the best buildings.

There is also very little land available in Punta Pacifica to build new towers, ensuring that apartments in the existing towers will grow more valuable as the last apartments are sold. With Panama’s economy growing at the fastest rate in the region, valuations on Trump resale apartments are likely to rise quickly once the final developer units are sold.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Maran Gas Apollonia vessel is scheduled to pass through Panama Canal on July 25

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Maran Gas Apollonia vessel is scheduled to pass through Panama Canal on July 25. Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Maran Gas Apollonia vessel is scheduled to pass through Panama Canal on July 25 after loading LNG from the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to the Panama Canal Authority, which oversees the locks’ operations. BP Plc’s British Merchant LNG tanker is expected to become the second to pass through the canal the following day and a third tanker is slated for early August, the agency said late Monday.

The vessels will become the first to take advantage of a multibillion-dollar expansion that widened the canal enough to handle massive LNG tankers. Its opening stands to increase the potential for American shale gas exports, which began just five months ago, by cutting shipping costs and times from the U.S. to the west coast of Latin America and to Asia.

“The fact that three companies have booked passage means that it’s viable and it’s working more or less the way the canal authority hoped when they set up the tolls,” Jason Feer, head of business intelligence at Houston-based ship broker Poten & Partners, said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if one of those goes to Asia.”

Shell’s tanker was approaching Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Louisiana late Monday. BP’s British Merchant tanker will carry gas from Trinidad to an import terminal on Mexico’s west coast, the authority said.

The Energy Department has approved 13.22 billion cubic feet a day of natural gas exports to countries that don’t have free-trade agreements with the U.S., including an approval this month for an expansion project at Cameron LNG in Louisiana, data from the agency show. The department has received applications to export a total of 46.56 billion cubic feet a day.

The canal expansion, which went into service in late June, allows access to 90 percent of the world’s LNG tanker fleet, up from 6 percent before, Victoria Zaretskaya, an analyst with the U.S. Energy Information Administration, said in a July 1 e-mail. The U.S. Gulf Coast may be sending 35 million to 38 million tons annually on about 550 tankers through the Panama Canal by 2021, she said.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

TigoCTM, the First Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Transaction Machine Franchise, Opens in Panama for Worldwide Sales

TigoCTM, the First Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Transaction Machine Franchise, Opens in Panama for Worldwide Sales

TigoCTM has opened the opportunity of bitcoin and cryptocurrency to entrepreneurs worldwide from their new Panama based franchise office. Bitcoin and Dash usage are exploding, but users lack methods of funding wallets, and then turning coins back into cash. TigoCTM’s end that problem. They’ve created a business opportunity for individuals looking to profit in this exploding industry, even if they don’t have technical skills, industry contacts, or cryptocurrency education.

Cindy Zimmerman, CEO of TigoCTM, purchased the first Panama-based CTM in 2015 because none existed. She says, “I knew there were no bitcoin CTM’s in Panama, but I needed to convert my bitcoin back into US Dollars, so I purchased my first machine. I didn’t think the market would be large, but I discovered because of Venezuela’s economic instability, the opportunity was exploding. When I realized how in demand these machines were, I investigated larger opportunities throughout the region.”

Bitcoin, dash, and other cryptocurrencies are popular because wire transfers are often impossible, and if not, require several days to process. Cryptocurrency transfers are instantaneous, and in countries with questionable currency values, like most economies during these volatile economic times, it can be better equipped to maintain its value.

For example, the bolivar has recently seen 100% year over year inflation; so even if bitcoin drops in value 30%, it’s still considerably more stable than some local fiat currencies. Over the past several years, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and dash have increased in value faster than gold, silver, and many other traditional “safe haven” assets.

Similar situations exist through Latin America and the world, but most locations lack an easy way to convert bitcoin into and out of cash. Unfortunately, until now, technical issues have blocked new business owners from taking advantage of this exploding opportunity. In addition, success in this industry requires network knowledge of other players in the field.

TigoCTM has created the world’s first franchise in this new field, by providing training, technical support, and a powerful network within the cryptocurrency field.

Now, for the first time, entrepreneurs can get in on the ground floor of this emerging market with no technical or bitcoin knowledge because they’ve made running the business is easier than setting up a vending machine route. Unlike vending machines requiring high-traffic areas, CTM clients seek machines out as soon as they learn about them, making placements easy. TigoCTM will also provide marketing assistance, making the process even simpler.

This brand new business opportunity offers:

• A large residual income with little upfront capital requirements.
• Easy to run all cash business, so you dont need experience or technical skills.
• Estimated return on investment in 3 – 9 months.
• Thousands of untapped, desperate locations so can create income right away.
• The ability to provide a critical service to thousands of unbanked individuals all over the world.
• Stay ahead of the curve with ongoing access and support for new cryptocurrencies and features.

Mrs. Zimmerman says, “Many of my customers don’t trust the banking system, and even with banks, options for converting cash into bitcoin are limited. So CTM’s are the only choice for this stable, private means of commerce.” She then says, “Different CTM’s are available on the market, but they require industry contacts and extensive technical skill to use. So we’ve created this franchise opportunity, where we’ll handle the heavy lifting for you. All you’re required to do is source a location for the machine and pick up the cash.”

About TigoCTM:

TigoCTM is a full service Cryptocurrency Teller Machine (CTM) provider.  TigoCTM walks it’s customers through a simplified account setup at banking, exchange, and wallet partners, making it easy to start an operate this business.  TigoCTM creates, hosts and supports the backend server(s) for their customers’ machines for an easy technical set-up.  Cryptocurrency CTMs used to be the domain of technical geeks and were complex to use, run, and understand. But we created TigoCTM to allow any business owner who wants a ground floor, cash only, revenue-generating business to get started with no knowledge at all.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Fitch Downgrades ENA Norte and ENA Este's Notes; Affirms ENA Sur

Fitch Downgrades ENA Norte and ENA Este's Notes; Affirms ENA Sur. ENA Sur's rating affirmation reflects the fact that its robust debt structure has allowed it to benefit from past positive performance and to deleverage to a point where nowadays it has no dependence on future traffic growth.

ENA Sur's recent traffic performance shows decreases of 7.7% in 2015. Notwithstanding this fact, Fitch's base case long term expected traffic compound annual growth rate (CAGR) does not materially differ from ENA's. Yet, the lack of inflation adjustments in toll rates since the transactions have been placed has led to a general deterioration of the three toll roads' projected metrics. Fitch will assume henceforth that tolls will remain unchanged. As a result, ENA Sur's rating case loan life coverage ratio (LLCR) is 1.34x (1.43x in past review), on the low side of its rating category, but the project maintains low leverage as reflected in its debt to cash flow available for debt service (CFADS) at 6.8x.

The downgrade of ENA Este's rating to 'BB-', Outlook Negative is mostly explained by its significant dependence on distributions from ENA Sur, which are now expected to be considerably lower and delayed in time. This, coupled with a one-year delay in its start of operations and a slower-than-expected traffic ramp-up, has led to an even lower cash flow generation. As a consequence, the likelihood of a default over the longer term will substantially increase, should government chose not to adjust toll rates in the coming years and prevent this outcome from happening.

As with ENA Sur and Este, ENA Norte's Fitch base case long term expected traffic CAGR also does not materially differ from ENA's original traffic projections. Thus, despite recent positive traffic performance, the two notches downgrade of its rating to 'BB+' incorporates the expectation of weakened credit metrics (rating case LLCR of 1.12x), driven by the prospect of flat toll rates over an extended period of time. Differently from ENA Sur, which debt matures in 2025, ENA Norte's debt service repayment is dependent upon three more years of revenues, which explains unchanged tolls' more pronounced effect on the transaction's metrics.

The Negative Outlook on ENA Sur and ENA Este's ratings reflects the fact that transactions' respective metrics are consistent with weaker ratings. The implementation of sufficient adjustments to tolls rates coupled with a solid traffic performance in the near future would likely strengthen credit protection measures to levels consistent with their rating categories, leading to an Outlook revision to Stable.

Viceroy Hotel Group will open a new Villa Resort in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Viceroy Hotel Group will open a new Villa Resort in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Viceroy Hotel Group has announced plans for Viceroy Bocas del Toro Panama, a resort and residences set to open in 2019. The destination, located above crystal-blue Caribbean waters on the edge of a rainforest will feature 186 modern guest rooms, including 42 overwater villas along 457 acres of coastline — with three miles of private white sand beaches, plus sailing, surfing and hiking adventures just beyond the door.

The 42 overwater villas will offer awe-inspiring vistas of the Caribbean coast and ocean, each with its own private plunge pool and direct access to the ocean by the deck. Exclusivity is all part of the location, while a quick trip from Panama City, is accessible only by boat, seaplane or helicopter.

Among the numerous adventure options are rainforest zip-lining, snorkeling, sailing, paddle boarding and deep sea fishing. The archipelago is also home to the San San Pond Sak wetlands, the most biologically diverse tropical coral reef in the region and the ultimate place for bird watching, bicycling and guided eco-hikes.

The eco-friendly destination of Viceroy Bocas del Toro Panama allows only electrical cars and sustainable technologies. Its outdoor design has been meticulously planned with indigenous plants and tropical specialties that will be used in the preparation of local cuisine.

The resort will feature numerous culinary options with eight restaurants and lounges, ranging from an elite fine-dining enclave to a relaxed beach grill. Also planned will be an indoor meeting space, a fitness center, a cinema lounge, a library, and a spa featuring private rejuvenation pools tucked in remarkable pockets of the rainforest.

Viceroy Bocas del Toro is the result of a partnership between VHG, West Resort, and Hospitality Investors Group. Zurcher Arquitectos will oversee development and Wimberly Interiors will concept all aspects of interior design.

The sale of real estate and private residences will be managed by IMI and Venegas International Group. The destination is now offering 42 one and two-bedroom residences for sale to private owners for personal use or as investments that will become part of the resort’s rental program. Spanning across the water, they are remarkable examples of effortless luxury, featuring indoor/outdoor living space, contemporary interiors and epic views of the lagoon and beach.

According to the Viceroy Hotel Group, “We are committed to environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. Our partners have consulted with top marine life and environmental experts to advise on the design of Viceroy Bocas del Toro Panama since the project’s inception. Our efforts include, but are not limited to, the care and preservation of local beaches as well as indigenous plants and species; water conservation; the use of sustainable materials; and the implementation of energy efficient systems.”

Maxam Tire opens Lat/Am branch in Panama

Maxam Tire opens Lat/Am branch in Panama. China’s Sailun Group has established a joint venture in Panama City to oversee its Maxam OTR tire brand throughout Latin America.

The joint venture, involving Sailun’s Maxam Tire International Ltd. unit and Latin Expo Group L.L.C. of Miami, is taking over sales and distribution responsibility for the Maxam range throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean, according to Milton Lopez, technical director, commercial for the new company, Maxam Tire Latam L.L.C.

Previously Maxam Tire International handled these responsibilities from its offices in Europe, according to Martin West, managing director of Solihull, England-based Maxam Tire.

“We’ve found the right partner close to the end-user,” Mr. West said during the Latin American & Caribbean Tyre Expo, which is going on this week in Panama City. “We’ve known Gus (Lima, CEO of Latin Expo Group) for a long time from the Sailun side.”

The new venture partners did not disclose their sales expectations for the region.

The establishment of Maxam Tire Latam coincides with the expansion of the brand’s range to 57-inch sizes. In addition, Sailun is developing 63-inch OTR tires for the Maxam brand and expects to have the market ready by year-end or early in 2017, according to Marco Zigni, director of Latin Expo Group.

Sailun produces OTR tires at plants in China and Vietnam.

Earlier this year, Maxam’s Danvers, Mass.-based Tire North America Inc. unit disclosed it is opening distribution warehouses in Long Beach, Calif., and Memphis, Tenn., to support a growing dealer network throughout the U.S.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

JPMorgan Says Panama Bonds Are a Buy

JPMorgan Says Panama Bonds Are a Buy. Negative headlines triggered earlier this year may have created an opportunity to buy the Central American nation’s sovereign bonds, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The bank raised its recommendation on the country to “overweight” from “marketweight”, saying that the bonds have under-performed this year, even as the economy remains a top performer.

“The real economic consequences are not going to be all that severe,” said Franco Uccelli, an emerging market analyst at JPMorgan. “Everything else that has been sustaining growth in the country is very much there, and is there to stay. If the bonds have underperformed as a consequence of some risk aversion related to the scandals, then you should be buying Panama.”

Panama’s economy is set to grow 6.1 percent this year, the fastest pace in Latin America, according to a forecast from the International Monetary Fund.

The recent inauguration of the expanded Panama canal and the construction of Panama City’s metro line will also help the country’s growth, according to JPMorgan. The nation’s dollar bonds have returned 9.8 percent this year, compared to 12 percent for emerging markets in the Bloomberg USD Emerging Market Sovereign Bond Index.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Mr Black launches liqueur with Panama Geisha Coffee

Mr Black launches liqueur with Panama Geisha Coffee. Mr Black has unveiled a new coffee liqueur, which has been created using the world’s most expensive and sought after coffee, the Geisha coffee from Panama.

Mr Black Panama Geisha Coffee LiqueurLess than 300 bottles of the Mr Black Panama Geisha Coffee Liqueur have been made, with 50kgs of Camilina Geisha beans used. This particular lot of Geisha has just been awarded First Prize at this year’s ‘Best of Panama’ competition by the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama. Will Young, Founder and Director of Campos Specialty Roasters, who has sat on the international jury for the Best of Panama Competition five years in a row, has said this is one of best coffees he’s ever tasted.

Philip Moore, Head Distiller and Founder at Mr Black Spirits Co is thrilled to work with such a special product and creating a world first for Mr Black.

“I’ve always been fascinated with the flavours of coffee and it’s something I’ve been working with for years. To get hold of such an incredible lot from Roberto’s farm to create a coffee liqueur, is amazing. Months and sleepless nights have gone into this prize winning blend. I’m thrilled we now get to share it with the world,” Moore said.

The Mr Black Camilina Panama Geisha Coffee Liqueur will be available to taste from July 7 internationally.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

OnQ Completes Phase 4 of Expansion. Market Demand Rising Rapidly for Panama-based Healthcare Labor Outsourcing and Contact Center

OnQ Completes Phase 4 of Expansion. Market Demand Rising Rapidly for Panama-based Healthcare Labor Outsourcing and Contact Center

In response to increased demand for its highly trained and skilled customer service associates, OnQ, the Santiago, Panama-based Contact Center and Labor Outsourcing provider, is pleased to announce the completion of the fourth phase of its ongoing expansion. The expansion will further support OnQ’s rapid growth and increase production capacity by 50 percent. In anticipation of continued demand for services, the company has secured additional local office space to fulfill requests from current and prospective clients.

OnQ, the Panama-based Contact Center & Labor Outsourcing provider, announces the completion of its expansion.

The increasing demand for OnQ associates is a direct reflection of OnQ’s unwavering commitment to quality and its determination to be the preferred partner in the marketplace. One of OnQ’s current clients recently stated, “When OnQ is mentioned, three words come to mind: expertise, committed and effective. I’ve had experience with other outsourcing vendors and when I compare OnQ to their competitors in the market, they rise to the top because they demonstrate results.” OnQ is continually designing initiatives aimed at producing exemplary results.

Since launching in December 2013 with one large radiology group client, OnQ has steadily increased its capacity and expertise, and now serves billing companies, physician groups and hospitals across the country in multiple specialties.

About OnQ

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, OnQ offers comprehensive labor sourcing solutions to the healthcare industry highlighted by its patient services call center. OnQ provides an intelligent and cost-effective labor source, healthcare expertise and close proximity to the U.S. to help clients reduce costs and streamline business processes while maintaining quality and consistency. OnQ’s Panama operation is managed onsite by U.S. healthcare executives and experts

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Panama is Open for Business according to John Feeley

Panama is Open for Business according to John Feeley. Panama is open for business”, said the United States’ Ambassador to this country, John Feeley during the Panama American Chamber of Commerce (PANAMCHAM) forum called “Panama: expanding its opportunities.”, according to Marijulia Pujol Lloyd who wrote this article.

The event took place on Sunday, June 26, at the Riu Hotel. The event was part of the inauguration of the Third set of Locks of the Panama Canal, which took place the same day.

During his introduction, Ambassador Feeley said that Panama has achieved its objective by completing the construction of the third set of locks, opening a wealth of opportunities, making the market in the Isthmus even more attractive.

“The direct foreign investment (DFI) has increased by 4% over the last few months representing a total of $618 million and the International Monetary Fund predicted that Panama will have a growth of 6% by the end of 2016, making the country not only the envy of the region, but also the rest of the world. The third set of locks will have as profound an effect on international commerce as the Canal had in 1914, when it was inaugurated. ”

Ambassador Feeley added that the United States is looking forward to doing more business with Panama and becoming its number one partner in business.“ The potential for success is immense and we want to be part of it,” concluded the diplomat.

PANAMCHAM president, Aristides Chiriatti, said: “the objective of the forum is to celebrate the Panama Canal Expansion and, at the same time, show Panama’s business potential, not only now, but in the near future.”

There were three important U.S. companies representatives: Juan Carlos Croston, Vice-President of Marketing and Corporate Affairs of Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT)); Jose Westin, District Manager of Caterpillar and Javier Visuetti, Open Blue Government and Community Affairs manager.

During his intervention, Javier Visuetti said the expanded canal is going to expedite the development in the region’s economy, attracting new businesses to the country, such as Open Blue, one of biggest deep sea fish farm operators in Central America.

He added that transparency is one of the key elements that are attracting companies to the Isthmus, for the simple reason that investors know that it is safe to invest here and that a scandal like the “Panama Papers” has not had an effect on the economy.

Juan Carlos Croston, from MIT explained that with the expanded Canal, new technologies have been implemented in the ports and Panamanian personnel have been trained to cover the neo-panamax demands.

Caterpillar´s district manager, John Westin, said that Sunday, June 26 was an historical day as “we witness the beginning of a new era with the Canal expansion, which has changed forever the shipping trade routes of the world, putting Panama firmly on the world map.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Maersk Will Reshuffle Vessels and Services as Part of Panama Canal Strategy

Maersk Will Reshuffle Vessels and Services as Part of Panama Canal Strategy. Expansion Provides More Options From Asia to South America and U.S. East Coast, and will enable Maersk to carry more shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

Søren Toft, Maersk Line COO said : “We look forward to seeing our larger vessels pass through the new locks.”
Maersk Line has been expanding its services in the Americas over the last 15 months. According to what Miguel Sanchiz of Panama Business News learned, Maersk expects more than 400 transits this year through the Panama Canal with canal fees exceeding $100 million.

The announcement from Maersk came as the expanded Panama Canal was officially inaugurated on June 26.

“As a long-time customer, Maersk Line welcomes the expansion of the Panama Canal,” said Søren Toft, chief operating officer at Maersk Line. “We look forward to seeing our larger vessels pass through the new locks. It is a very positive development for trade, Panama and the region, and of course shipping lines that transit this important corridor every day.”

Maersk Line has been expanding its services in the region. Over the last 15 months, the carrier has introduced four new weekly transits through the Panama Canal and is expecting more than 400 transits this year with canal fees expected to exceed $100 million.

“The expansion provides us more options to a number of our services, most notably our Asia-to-South America and Asia-to-U.S. East Coast routes,” noted Anders Boenaes, head of network at Maersk Line.

From the West Coast of Latin America to Europe and the U.S. East Coast, Maersk Line moves mainly perishables such as bananas, avocados and pineapples and sees many opportunities to grow this fresh export sector. Maersk Line invested in 30,000 new reefer containers in 2015, sustaining a reefer container fleet of 262,000. From Asia to the U.S. East Coast, the strong U.S. dollar also offers potential to grow other exports, particularly car parts and electronics.

“It is likely that Maersk Line will make increased use of the expanded Panama Canal and adjust one or more Maersk Line services with larger vessels to begin sailing through its new locks,” said Toft.

As the gateway for more than 12,000 ships, the Panama Canal currently carries five per cent of all world sea trade, a figure that is likely to grow as the expanded canal comes into use.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Mol Benefactor breaks record for Panama Canal toll

Mol Benefactor breaks record for Panama Canal toll. Mol Benefator a boxship paid on July 1st, the highest ever Panama Canal transit fee in the waterway’s 102-year history.

The Hong Kong-flagged MOL Benefactor paid out $829,468 for the 77 km interoceanic crossing, beating the record $575,545 Cosco Shipping Panama paid as the first vessel to transit the expanded canal last Sunday. The MOL Benefactor is a Seaspan controlled 10,000 teu ship which is 337 m long and 48 m wide, according to what Miguel Sanchiz of the Panama Business News found out.

Given that the newly widened canal can accept boxships of up to 12,000 teu, a $1m transit fee is on the cards soon, all happening to repay the $5.25bn Panamanian authorities have paid to get the waterway widened over the past decade.

The vessel, which began its passage of the new locks at Cocolí paid $829,468 dollars, according to the Panama Canal Authority. The Benefactor Mol broke the record that had been set Sunday by the vessel Cosco Shipping Panama, the first vessel to use the new locks. That vessel paid $575,545.