August 30th – River Parana Draft & Hidrovia

August 30th 2020

River Parana Draft & Hidrovia

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.

River Parana Draft/Hidrovia: Nothing indicates that the present situation will change during the short term. Estimates of the maximum sailing draft from Upriver Ports (San Lorenzo/Timbues) south are still in the order of 9.80 meters (+/- 0.30 meters). It must be pointed out that the present draft is the result of hard work that is being undertaken by Hidrovia who are working steadily to clear the shallow passes on the River Parana. As an interesting point of reference it is worth mentioning that according to their contract the obligation to maintain the draft at 34 feet 00 inches (10.36 meters) FW ceases when the River level at Rosario drops below 2.47 meters. Today the River level at Rosario stands at 0.65 meters. The drought continues in the whole of the River Parana catchment area, and even the dams in South Brazil are not able to recover their reserves since their last contribution to improving the river flow.

Renewal of the Hidrovia/River Parana contract: The contract for the renewal of the River Parana/Hidrovia contract is due in March 2021. This contract is for the dredging, maintenance and buoying of the River Parana. Last Friday, August 28th, a commission was announced to study and issue a tender documents for a new scheme. Not much remains clear as to the requirements in the tender for the forthcoming tender. We will have to wait until the still to be conformed commission gets together.

Markets: China has been purchasing soya in the grain markets very actively. It is to be expected that they will be soon requiring freight. Possibly because of this the freight market from the main regions where they source their soya and other grains has been firming up slightly.

Discharge of Scrubbers in Argentina: A further regulation was issued today August 25th that clarifies the areas that are covered by the prohibition to discharge 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)

The map below broadly shows the limits of the areas covered by the regulation which are colored light blue.

Discharge of Scrubbers in Argentina.


(Argentine Territorial and Exclusive Economic Area as published by the Foreign Affairs Ministry)

Special care will have to be taken by vessels transiting the area, especially between Recalada and the Pacific Ocean.

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.

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

Necochea: The port closed on Saturday, August 29th at 1640 hours due to strong winds and high swell.

Necochea: All vessels arriving must comply with a 14 day quarantine. The 14 days are counted from the date of departure from the last port of call.

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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