May 14th – River Parana draft

May 14th 2020

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 Holiday:
Monday, May 25th, May Revolution.

Covid-19 National Quarantine: The National Quarantine will remain in force until May 24th. Buenos Aires and the surrounding areas (Greater Buenos Aires) will have stricter regulation limiting movement. The rest of the country where cases have been fewer will be allowed to relax restrictions.
At the main ports the sanitary measures remain unchanged and working well coordinated. The Ships Agency activities being related to foreign trade is one of the excepted from quarantine.

The mv MARS HARMONY proceeding in loaded condition from San Lorenzo, Cofco Timbues berth, outbound, on 9.28 meters draft grounded on the River Parana at Km 388 and is obstructing navigation. The location of the grounded vessel is between Arroyo Seco and Villa Constitucion.

The grounding occurred today, Friday May 15th at about 0730 hours.

River Parana draft:
The River Parana draft situation was discussed yesterday during an on-line conference. The Technical Manager for HIdrovia pointed out that at this moment in time the River Parana is going through the longest and driest period since 1930’s. He says that not only is the River at it’s lowest water level in many decades, but according to records held it is the longest period, in time for many years. Since the 1930’s. This drought has now been extended over nine (9) months which makes a bad situation worse. There are previous records of these situations arising, but during those periods the size of vessels and the volume of grains to be exported were nothing like what we have at this time.

Mv OCEAN INNOVATION at Rosario: The mv OCEAN INNOVATION sailed from San Lorenzo last night, Wednesday 13th, on a draft of 9.27 meters. It is reported that while transiting the area close to Rosario Roads, Km 406 of the River Parana she made contact with the bottom and was returned to Rosario Secondary Roads for survey. After inspection by CoastGuards she continued her navigation on to Recalada and discharge port.

Maximum sailing draft announcement: The maximum daily draft announcement is a routine practice whereby the Ministry of Transport every day announce the draft available at the shallow passes on the River Parana. Depending on the position of the ports and the shallow passes the max sailing draft is calculated. In times, such as now when the River is at an extremely shallow level, close to, or below, 34 feet 00 inches/10.36 meters it is safe and common practice to stop loading operations on vessels which may be completing close to the 10:00 a.m. announcement until the draft is announced so that vessels do not find themselves “trapped” at the loading port. Part of this practice is to stop loading with one (1) foot/30 centimeters less than the previous max sailing draft and then wait for the announcement. Lately, the last two or three weeks, the draft announcement has been delayed, in some cases, until 14:00 hours due to the very low water in the River Parana and the many shallow passes that must be surveyed. This late announcement causes significant delays on vessels which may have stopped loading during the night waiting for the announcement during the next morning.

Necochea: The port reopened on May 12th at 1025 hours due to improved weather conditions.

Will keep you posted.

Best regards,
Antares Servicios Maritimos S.A.

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