PIPSA Sludge Report Header 102015


 Panama Canal Ship Traffic 2014
Ship traffic using the Panama Canal is quite an important statistic for PIPSA’s business.  The high volume of ships using the canal to transit from either the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans was a key factor in locating PIPSA’s business to Panama. During the year 2014 approximately 12,000 vessels transited the Panama Canal.

The most highly traveled origination and destination routes using the Panama Canal were respectively; East Coast US-Asia, East Coast US-West Coast South America, Europe-West Coast South America, South America Intercoastal, Europe-West Coast US/Canada.

The most numerous vessels that transited the canal by vessel type were;  

1) Dry Bulk Vessels

2) Container Vessels

3) Chemical Tankers

4) Refrigerated Cargo Vessels

5) Vehicle Carriers

6) General Cargo Vessels

The highest ranking flagged vessels by country using the canal were Panama, Liberia, Hong Kong, Marshall Islands, Singapore, Bahamas, Cyprus and Greece respectively.


Panama Canal expansion will allow transit of larger ships with greater volumes
Maximum ship sizes for the Panama and Suez Canals:

The Panama Canal, an important route connecting the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, currently has a limited role in global crude and petroleum product transport. The canal’s current size restrictions means smaller vessels, with capacities of approximately 400,000-550,000 barrels of light sweet crude oil, are the only ships that can safely pass through the canal. These ships are referred to as Panamax tankers, and their smaller cargos lead to a higher per-barrel cost.

However, the Panama Canal is undergoing an expansion that will allow for the passage of larger vessels with capacities of approximately 400,000-680,000 barrels of crude oil. These larger tankers have the potential to increase crude and petroleum product transport through the canal. Larger vessels or vessels that are slightly over the draft limit can use the Trans Panama Pipeline, which runs parallel to the canal and has both the loading and unloading points for a complete transfer, but doing so adds to shipment costs.

In addition to oil transit, the expansion of the Panama Canal, now slated for late 2015, will be able to provide passage for up to 80% of global shipping of liquefied natural gas (LNG). It currently allows passage of only a small percentage of LNG shipping and only shipping by the smallest of LNG tankers.


 PIPSA Burner Fuel Oil
PIPSA has continued its production of Fuel Oil for boiler/burner use and has had a successful January selling nearly 200,000 gallon of the material. The production department at PIPSA Terminals plans to run the RPRU more frequently in 2015 due to the increasing demands for PIPSA’s fuel oil. PIPSA is the only company in Latin America that has a petroleum recycling unit such as the RPRU.PIPSA Facility with Bridge

PIPSA’s recycling unit in small and compact, taking up a footprint of only 100 square meters but has the capacity to produce 20,000 Metric Tons of petroleum burner fuel oil annually. The unit converts marine sludge and slop oil from ship’s origin into a marine/industrial fuel, thereby creating a renewable energy source for ships and/or power generation facilities. An automated computer system insures that the fuel oil produced is to international standards.

PIPSA invested in this technology to help meet increasing international environmental standards in regards to ship’s waste products. The RPRU is a state of the art technology that has been fully approved by the Panama Maritime Authority.

If you have any questions regarding this newsletter, please contact me at misetich@pipsa.com


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