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Web Alert: Tankers must cool decks during Panama Canal transits

16 April 2019

Tankers have been issued with new deck-cooling orders by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).

The directive applies from this month and involves all crude, product and chemical tankers carrying cargoes with flashpoints of less than 18 degrees.

In a note to members, BIMCO said the move was being made to ensure the safety of canal operations, as well as to reduce disruptions in transit scheduling.

Main decks must be cooled by a sprinkler system, or any other means available during transit. This will prevent automatic activation of release relief valves during transit. The cooling must be carried out between 1000 and 1600 hours while the vessel is underway at Gatun Lake or Gaillard Cut, or at anchor in canal waters; but it should be stopped while a vessel is going through locks.