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Panama Canal launches incentive for environmental efficiency

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LNG Industry,

The Panama Canal Authority has announced that it has launched the Environmental Premium Ranking.

This new initiative rewards customers who meet high environmental efficiency standards. It will become effective for transits beginning 1 January 2017 (participation is optional).

The ranking is part of the canal’s Green Connection Environmental Program, and will allow qualified customers the opportunity to improve their position within the canal’s customer ranking system, which is taken into consideration when booking for transit. The Green Connection Environmental Program recognises customers who demonstrate environmental stewardship and encourage others to implement standards and technologies to decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The ranking will award customers with percentage points in the ‘number of transits’ criteria when calculating the customer ranking. These points will help customers to improve their position in the customer ranking system. For customers to receive this benefit, their vessels must meet a minimum of one of the following requirements:

IndicatorLevel 1Level 2Documentation
Energy efficiency design index (EEDI) thresholdAt least 20% below the reference lineAt least 30% below the reference lineInternational energy efficiency certificate 
Environmental ship index (ESI) thresholdAt least 35 pointsAt least 80 pointsESI database
Low nitrogen oxide thresholdAt least 10% below Tier II limitAt least 20% below Tier II limitEngine international air pollution prevention (EIAPP) certificate
LNG-fuelled engineLNG-fuelled engineLNG engine description


Vessels that qualify as Level 1 will be granted 10 additional percentage points towards their overall customer ranking for every transit they make through the canal. Vessels that qualify as Level 2 will be granted 20 additional percentage points for each transit to improve their ranking.

Jorge L. Quijano, Panama Canal Administrator, said: “With the addition of the Environmental Premium Ranking to our Recognition Program, we're rewarding those who make conscious efforts to reduce GHG emissions and invest in technology that will make shipping even more efficient.

"We look forward to working with our customers and industry partners to further bring value to their businesses and to our route, all while reinforcing commitments to sustainability and environmental protection.”

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