The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) will hold a draw on Friday to select the first vessel which will transit through the expanded Canal when the third lane is inaugurated Sunday, 26 June.
The draw will take place at the Panama Canal administration building and a Notary Public to serve as witness.
The ACP has invited its top 15 customers to participate in the draw for the inaugural transit. Of the invited customers, those interested in participating were required to indicate the neo-panamax vessel’s name, type and dimensions that it plans to deploy on the inauguration day of the expanded Canal.
The ACP executive vice president for operations will verify that each vessel complies with the Panama Canal’s requirements.
The proposed vessel is required not to surpass a maximum beam of 49m and a maximum overall length of 366m. In addition, the maximum draught or point of immersion for the inaugural transit will be 12.5 m. For security purposes, gas carriers will not be considered for the inaugural transit.
The draw will be carried out with ballots labeled with the name of each participant. A child will select the first ballot and hand it to the Public Notary who will announce the winner of the draw. Afterwards, the same child will pick a second ballot for the shipping line that will be able to deploy a vessel for the inaugural transit in the event that the winner informs the ACP by 10 May that it will not be able to deploy an approved vessel for the inauguration.
In the event that an invited customer declines participation, the ACP may send an invitation to the next customer on the ranking list, up to the customer with a weighted ranking value of less than 16, according to the customer ranking used for bookings as of April 2016.
The winner will incur all the costs associated with the transit, including booking fees and other marine services, which will be charged in accordance with the Panama Canal published tariffs.
Only one neo-panamax vessel in southbound direction will be allowed to transit the expanded Canal for its inauguration during daylight hours. Regular commercial transits through the expanded Canal will commence on 27 June.
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