Panama Canal Launches Green Award System
The Panama Canal has announced the launch of the Green Connection Award, a new initiative to recognize customers who demonstrate excellent environmental stewardship.
The Panama Canal will evaluate eligible candidates based on specific environmental factors, such as the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), Environmental Ship Index (ESI), amount of nitrous oxides they emit due to engine performance, vessels powered by LNG and the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions they reduce by using of the Panama Canal compared to alternate routes.
The decision to establish the Green Connection Award is in line with the Canal’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, it said in announcing the new scheme. Over the last 101 years, the Canal has directly contributed to the reduction of 650 million tons of CO2 emissions. As a result of the shorter traveling distance and larger cargo carrying capacity that the Expanded Canal offers, it estimates that it will reduce an estimated of 160 million tons of CO2 emissions in the next 10 years.
In addition to reducing its carbon footprint, the Panama Canal Authority has been dedicated to the management and operations of the Canal, and preserving the natural resources of the Canal Watershed. The adoption of international standards and the incorporation of innovative environmental initiatives play a key role in the development and preservation of the Panama Canal Watershed, which is vital to the operation of the Panama Canal and the 1.9 million Panamanians who rely on it for drinking water.
The Expanded Panama Canal features 18 water-savings basins that recycle 60 percent of the water used per lockage, saving seven percent more water than the original locks.
The first Green Connection Award will be given to the first LNG ship to transit the expanded Canal.The Canal currently has three LNG reservations at this time. Shell's Maran Gas Apollonia will be the first ever LNG vessel to transit the Expanded Canal on July 25. It will be originating from the U.S. Gulf Coast via Sabine Pass LNG Terminal. Second, BP’s British Merchant will transit on July 26.