February 16th – River Parana Draft

February 16th 2021

River Parana Draft

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: Wednesday, March 24th. National Memorial Day.

San Lorenzo, Cargill Quebracho berth: The berth is closed for maintenance since Thursday, February 11th until Thursday, February 25th 2021 and from March 08th until March 14th 2021. During these periods the berth will not be loading vessels.

River Parana Draft: The River Parana is recovering it’s usual volume of water. Rain in the catchment area, SE Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay is returning to its usual volume. On this basis the effect of the tides in the River Plate will be reduced at the Upriver Ports and this means that the draft will become more stable, less susceptible to abrupt changes. The overall forecast for the coming three months (March, April and May) is that the River Parana draft will vary in the range of 10.36 meters (34 feet 00 inches)/10.52 meters (34 feet 06 inches).

Rain forecast for the coming 7 days.

Dredging River Plate: The Government has appointed a consultative committee to study the dredging and opening of the new Canal Magdalena access to the River Plate. As can be seen on the diagram below the intention is to open up a new Canal at the entry of the River Plate that is southerly to the usual access via Montevideo-Recalada-Punta Indio. There have been periodic on-going debates regarding this project over many years. Some consider it to a waste of money and that the funds would be better invested dredging and widening the old canal. Those who favor the project consider that it will allow easier access to and from the Atlantic ports (Mar del Plata, Necochea and Bahia Blanca) and that the maintenance cost will be lower since the inward and outward flow of the tides will require less maintenance dredging. If the project goes ahead, it will require the establishment of logistical bases for servicing pilots, SAR and other such services on the Argentine Coast such as have been established at Montevideo. We shall be following the process and keep you informed. At this moment the finer technical aspects, such as the draft for this Canal have not yet been disclosed.

Dredging River Plate
The River height at Rosario that is considered referential for “critical” low level is 2.00 meters.

Vicentin/Diaz&Forti: As mentioned in previous reports Diaz&Forti, who had taken over the operation of the Vicentin crushing plant in San Lorenzo (Ricardone) and the loading port in San Lorenzo, have declared bankruptcy on February 11th. Due to the extra long Carnival weekend there is not much available information on the effects of this bankruptcy. We shall be following this closely and keep you posted.

Oil Spill Response at Zona Comun:
Once again a group of people are pressuring Owners to take coverage for Oil Spill Response on vessels taking bunkers at Zona Comun. The bunker suppliers and the bunker barge Owners were able to prove to the local CoastGuard Station (PNA La Plata) that present arrangements in place were satisfactory. We draw your attention to this so that bunker suppliers absorb any related expense within the sales contract.

Crew changes Argentina: The borders remain closed to crew changes therefore these are not permitted. Internal flights are functioning again. These restrictive practices are causing problems to vessels calling in Argentina and undue inconveniences to the crews. Local entities and associations are pressuring for resumption of this “normal” activity. So far the Government have not indicated any change to this policy.

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.

Crew changes Chile:Chilean colleagues have supplied us with the following detail to proceed for crew changes in Chile:
Kindly note a protocol has been issued to allow crew changes while our borders are still closed for non Chilean citizens, here you will find requiring points to be complied with:


Authorities are allowing for crew members to disembark and take their flights from Chile to their final destinations with following conditions:

• Providing all information about the intended disembarking to the Health, Maritime, Migration Authorities via Agency at least 72 hours in advance including names, citizenship, passport number, name of vessel, and full repatriation flight schedule (attached file with data requested).

• Completing a 14 days quarantine period on board in good health condition since the vessel sailed from the last foreign port prior to disembarking in Chile.

• Submitting the on-line affidavit for travelers to prevent Coronavirus diseases (attached).

• Not presenting any symptoms of COVID19 (Health Service may order a health check at any time)

• Moving directly from the disembarking port to the airport or designated sanitary residence (in case 14 days of quarantine not completed). Max. period permitted in the hotel is 5 days.

• Wearing personal health protection items such as face mask, face shield, gloves and hand sanitizer while in our country.


Before trip

We need to send to Ministry of Transport a few points (attached file with data requested).

Once received and double checked, they will send the approval to Consulate where joiner will come from.

The crew member must going personally to the respective Consulate, for taking a picture, fingerprint.

If all going well, the consulate will notify to Immigration, Health Service and sanitary borders, that crew member can travel and get in to Chilean territory.

Along with this a safe-conduct document will be provided. This document will be mandatory and must be presented on arrival to Chile.

Only crew members who does not require Chilean visa to come to Chile can apply to safe-conduct.

Once arrived to Chile.

At any time, must wear facial mask and carry own protective items for COVID-19

Immigration would check that all documents are in order, if so, will be provided the SHORE PASS (crew member immigration card).

The Health Inspector will make an evaluation of crew health, if do not have any symptom of COVID 19, her entry will be granted.

In case to have any symptom or to result positive in the preliminary Covid test, would be isolated and the entry would be denied.

Transportation from International airport to the port must be exclusive. So, domestic flights are not permitted and either intercity buses service (commercial).

Also important for both, on signers and off signers, is to have tentative flight schedule (complete route), this is necessary to start formalities with authorities.

We estimate about 5-7 business days to complete formalities.

Will keep you posted.

Best regards,
Antares Servicios Maritimos S.A.

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