A global maritime consultancy has carried out a pivotal assessment review of tugboat operations in the new third set of NeoPanamax locks of the $5.25 billion Expanded Panama Canal and made other operational observations.
The Maritime Group (International) Ltd (TMG) was instructed by Autoridad del Canal de Panama (Panama Canal Authority - ACP) with a brief to focus on Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) procedures. ACP accepted TMG’s findings and is now considering any modifications to its procedures and the optimisation of its schedules.
TMG Managing Director, London-based Captain Malcolm W Parrott said: “We were selected after a highly competitive international bidding process for our depth of experience and expertise in all aspects of the study including shipping, operations and safety procedures.
“Our findings will contribute to a quicker, more efficient and safer operation on the canal for the benefits of ACP’s shipping company, military and leisure customers as well as their employees and suppliers.
“That fact that ACP decided to invest in this project demonstrates that it is a forward thinking organisation with a focus on its staff.
“It was a pleasure to work with all at ACP and we are now discussing working together on future projects for this preeminent waterway.”
TMG’s team of experts included Captain M W Parrott, Captain Orlando Allard the ex-Chief Pilot of the Panama Canal and Captain John R Freestone, the ex-Chief Pilot of the Port of London Authority. The team spent a considerable time in Panama transiting the canal and both new and old locks aboard transiting vessels and assisting ACP tugboats.
They held lengthy interviews and meetings with all canal stakeholders and spent time at ACP’s world class training facilities at the new ship handling lake at Summit and simulators and training facilities at the Center for Simulation, Research and Maritime Development (SIDMAR). The team was led professionally by John P Crummie, ex-managing director of DFDS Seaways, assisted by Kevin W Hawes, TMG’s Business Development Director.
Contribution was also made by Captain Ashwani Singhania from TMG’s newly registered company in Singapore -The Maritime Group (Asia), showing the true international diversity and reach of TMG.