August 23rd – Drought and River Parana

August 23rd 2020

Drought and River Parana

In view of the ongoing developing situation and different communications and instructions being issued by Sanitary Authorities of the Argentine Government we have chosen to send a consolidated daily report at the closing of working hours with an update of the day’s news.

National Holidays: Next National Holiday, Monday, October 12th

Necochea, berth 9/10: Berth 9/10 is on the southern side (Necochea). It is an open berth used mainly for discharging fertilizers (DAP, MAP, etc). After soundings were performed the maximum drafts are as per the following table:


180 meters – 12.20 meters (40 feet) BW

190 meters – 11.90 meters (39 feet) BW

200 meters – 11.60 meters (38 feet) BW

210 meters – 11.30 meters (37 feet) BW

In order to berth on arrival conditions as per the above table pilots recommend to do so at mid rising tide and to commence discharge immediately so as not to run the risk of the vessel being pulled away from the berth at low tide.

Drought and River Parana max sailing draft: The drought situation persists over all SE South America (South Brazil, Paraguay, Eastern Bolivia and North Argentina) Few or no rains have been recorded over the last week. This shortage of water is not only affecting the amount of water in the River Parana, but is also going to affect the wheat crop and forecasts for the sowing of the 2021 maize harvest, according to reports and estimates issued by the Agricultural institutions (Buenos Aires Grain Exchange, Rosario Commercial Exchange, Secretariat of Agriculture). The estimated area to be sown for maize is now estimated to be 6.2 million hectares, down from the original estimate of 6.3 million.

Discharge of Scrubbers in Argentina: A regulation was issued by the Argentine CoastGuard (PNA) that forbids the discharge of washing waters from scrubbers of National and Foreign vessels in Argentine waters detailed as:
*Internal Jurisdictional Waters (including River Parana, River Uruguay and River Plate)

*Territorial Waters (12 mile limit)

*Extended Territorial waters (24 mile limit)

*Argentine Exclusive Economic Zone (200 mile limit)

In order that the limits be properly explained we attach below a map, issued by the Government which explains the contour of the area covered by the regulation which colored light blue.

Scrubbers in Argentina.


Special care will have to be taken by vessels transiting the area, especially those on the open sea when proceeding southbound from Recalada to the Pacific and vice versa.

Crew changes Uruguay: On and Off signing crew are allowed entry into the country under very strict restrictions. On signers must have a prior negative Covid 19 test 72 hours prior being allowed entry. Crew members boarding are not allowed to stop at any stage between landing at the airport (Montevideo) and boarding the vessel. Once onboard the vessel they must comply with a 14 day quarantine onboard before being allowed to work. Departing crew must proceed directly from the vessel to the airport. Considering that there are at the moment few international flights these requirements make it very difficult for crew members to enter or leave the country. Additionally to this before a boarding crew member is allowed permit of entry the agreement of Sanitary Authority, Immigration and CoastGuard must be obtained.
The best way of achieving a successful crew change at Uruguay is to have the vessel do this OUTBOUND at Recalada/Montevideo anchorage when the vessel’s schedule is not bound so much by weather and port congestions.

Arroyo Seco-Lagos/Dreyfus berths: The CoastGuard have issued a regulation, valid as from August 06th, that the maximum sailing draft for both Dreyfus berths, Dry and Liquid, is to be calculated according to the following formula: 9.20 meters Depth Plus Average River level of Rosario and Villa Constitución Minus 0.60 meters under keel clearance.
For today, August 23rd it is: 9.27 meters (30 feet 04 inches FW)

Recalada: Recalada closes often due to swell, fog and high winds.

Necochea: The port opened on August 21st at 0720 hours. It had been closed since August 18th at 1810 hours due to swell and high winds.

Bahia Blanca: Pilotage service is suspended for short periods time due to bad weather.

Bahia Blanca is imposing a 14 day quarantine on arriving vessels. This quarantine can be excepted if the terminal where the vessel will load produces proof that an earlier berthing is required. Also an agreement with the stevedores union that adequate precautionary measures will be taken to satisfy the workers attending onboard so as to avoid contagion.

Will keep you posted.

Best regards,
Antares Servicios Maritimos S.A.

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