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Thursday, August 6, 2020

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CIRCULAR 026/2020: PARANA RIVER EXCEPTIONAL LOW WATER LEVEL (UPDATE)

Download this Circular including its graphs HERE

Further to our circular 023/2020 the Parana River is going through the worst low water levels in the last 50 years.

In accordance with the information provided by the National Water Institute (INA) the rains in the high basin of the Parana River were below the normal average and similar dry conditions were recorded in the Iguazu River as well as in the Paraguay basin which is due to a combination of weather and soil changes in a vast region.

Usually those tributaries deliver around 19/17,000 m3/s of water to the waterway of the Parana River and nowadays those levels are around 9,000 m3/s.

According to the forecasts, the lack of rain will continue. In general no improvement is expected during the next month although the ITAIPU dam (a binational dam between Paraguay and Brazil) has released some water to assist with the navigation of the Parana River, especially in the area known as High Parana.

Over the last weeks there has been an unusual number of groundings not only in the Parana River main navigation channel but also in some of the terminals along the River specially in the Rosario / San Nicolas area.

The current situation is also having the effect that the vessels are loading less cargo due to draft restrictions and it is estimated that a bulk carrier like a panamax is short loading around 2,000 mt per feet of draft and a tanker (vegoils) are loading 6,000 mt less in total.
In view of the above it is very important for the passage plan to be discussed with the pilot with all the crew that will be on the bridge during navigation even in ballast condition and to keep a good record in writing of the discussed navigational plan.

On the other hand, when loading, the Master should be alert of the condition of the river bearing in mind the maximum permissible draft - which are based on the critical points that the vessel has to sail through depending the port/terminal she is in. This information is provided by the Undersecretary of Ports and Waterways every morning around 9 or 10 am so a vessel which is going to complete overnight could be sailing with the information provided during the morning.

The aforementioned information could be obtained (in Spanish language) HERE:

Please be reminded that the vessels should keep a 2” UKC at all times and it is of utmost importance to consider the ship’s squat especially when crossing critical passages bearing in mind  this time of low water levels.

In case of any doubt the Master should always get in touch with the designated port agents before entering the River Plate basin and before departing from the designated terminal as to obtain accurate information to be confirmed then with the pilot on duty.

We shall keep you closely updated on developments and remain at your and/or your member’s disposal for any clarification and/or additional information that might be required.

Yours Faithfully,

PANDI LIQUIDORES SRL

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

This circular update Circular 023/2020

Notice: the content of this circular is for information only. Even though it has been issued carefully, and to the best of our knowledge, it has a general purpose and we can accept no liability whatsoever for any particular action taken upon it. © Pandi Liquidadores SRL 2020. All rights reserved.