Panama Canal reduces slots for ships due to droughts

Environment

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – Due to droughts, Panama will impose a “freshwater” charge on ships for use of water from a lake needed to maintain the Panama Canal’s levels, and will reduce the number of daily slot reservations, the waterway’s authority said on Monday.

Canal Administrator Ricaurte Vasquez told a news conference that from Feb. 15, a fixed charge would be set at $10,000 for any vessel over 125 feet long, as well as a variable surcharge based on the level of Gatun Lake at time of transit.

Daily reservations would be reduced to 27 from 32, he added.

Reporting by Elida Moreno; Editing by Dave Graham

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