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Monjasa lauds new time-saving Panama bunker service

'Pioneering' tanker operation off Cristobal is said to reduce idle time by 24 to 48 hours.

The 8,839-dwt Monjasa Supplier. Image credit: Monjasa

Updated on 12 Mar 2021 14:25 GMT

Bunker supplier Monjasa reports that it is now offering outer anchorage deliveries off Cristobal in what the company describes as "a pioneering tanker move" designed to reduce the idle time for larger ships refuelling in the Panama Canal.

The Denmark-headquartered firm recently relocated one of the tankers acquired in 2019, the Monjasa Supplier (previously named Amsterdam), from Dubai to Panama.

The tanker is already in full operation, supplying both low-sulphur marine gas oil (MGO) and very-low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) off Cristobal. It joins sister vessel the Accra, which has been operating on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal, in Balboa.

Highlighting the significance of the latest tanker addition, Monjasa stated: "For the first time the Panama Canal now sees feasible bunker[-]only calls at Cristobal's outer anchorage."

While smaller vessels at Cristobal can use waiting time to refuel, larger vessels exceeding inner anchorage restrictions have not been afforded the same opportunity to take on bunkers - and therefore optimise voyage costs - whilst inactive. Instead, they have had to simply drop anchor and wait to refuel upon arrival at Balboa.

But with the addition of its tanker in Cristobal, Monjasa is aiming to help its customers lower idle time whilst also cutting costs with outer anchorage bunkering.

Against an average age of 32 years and an average size of 3,100 deadweight tonnes (dwt) for bunker barges in the Panama Canal, the 8,839-dwt Monjasa Supplier and Accra - built in 2009 and 2010, respectively - now represent the two largest tankers in Panama.

And according to Monjasa, the two tankers are also Panama's most modern supply vessels. In addition to their size, they feature onboard segregation of several fuel types to meet post-IMO 2020 demand. Monjasa also notes that, compared to the existing local barge fleet, the rough weather capabilities of the Cristobal-based tanker can reduce idle time by 24 to 48 hours per transit.

Rasmus Jacobsen, Managing Director, Monjasa Americas, commented: "Presenting modern bunkering options is an important contributor to an overall attractive global shipping hub. Panama is a great historic shipping destination and as a local partner to the maritime community, Monjasa aims to strengthen operations and evolve the bunker industry by improving tonnage quality and flexibility around the Panama Canal."

Overall, Monjasa manages four vessels in the Panama Canal and is one of the largest marine fuel suppliers in Panama.

In 2019, Monjasa supplied a total of 1.15m metric tonnes across the Americas, or 25.6 percent of its worldwide sales. The group's top-selling bunker port was Balboa, whilst Cristobal was ranked fourth.

MT Monjasa Supplier Facts

IMO Number: 9498963
Dwt: 8,839
Year built: 2009
Flag: Panama
LOA: 110m
Beam: 18.6m
Former Name: Amsterdam

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