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Saturday, September 22, 2018


Italy/Genoa – entrance only for SBT tankers

With effect from 01 January 2002 tankers not classified as SBT by Flag Registers will not be allowed to enter/berth at the petrochemical port of Genoa Multedo.

Every tanker will have to provide an IOPP certificate stating in paragraph 5 compliance with SBT as per Marpol 73/78 Reg. 13.

Until 31 December 2001 a provisional derogation will be granted to those vessels which, are not equipped with the required certification, but which submit an alternative ballasting procedure such as that reducing the level of emissions from cargo tanks.

Sources: GAC Athens’ Hub Agency / Medmar Tramp Srl., Genoa

USA/Houston – deepening and widening of the Houston Ship Channel

As of this time the deepening and widening project of the Houston Ship Channel is continuing and (provided the U.S. Government funding continues - which is fully expected - estimates on completion of the project run anywhere from the First to Third Quarter of the year 2003.

At present the Houston Pilots advise that the Houston Ship Channel vessel deep draught limit is 40 ft fresh water at Mean Low Tide from Lyondell Petrochemical to the Pilot Station.

This may vary depending on the weather conditions. The Houston Pilot's tide level gauge is based on Zero at the 40 ft level. Should a strong, sustained north wind blow for a few hours at a time, this may easily drop that level 1, 2, or even 3 feet at times.    If the Houston Pilot's tide gauge reads -1 then they will not allow vessels to transit the Houston Ship Channel with any draught deeper than 39 ft., if -2 = no deeper than 38 ft, etc.  

From Lyondell Petrochemical up channel to the I-610 Bridge, the Houston Pilots advise that the draught limit is 36 ft and from the I-610 Bridge into the Port of Houston Main Turning Basin, the draught limit is 35 ft, both based on fresh water at MLT.

Below the Lyondell Petrochemical Facility, the lowest overhead clearance is the power line across the channel at Baytown, which is 162 ft at Mean High Tide.

Above the Lyondell Petrochemical Facility, the lowest overhead clearance is the I-610 (Sidney Sherman) Bridge at 135 ft at MHT.

It should be noted that during winter months but also possible at other times, strong northerly winds are experienced, thus effecting the information given above.

The local U.S. Coast Guard has issued a document dated 26 March 2001, which may be of interest concerning the closure of the Houston Ship Channel on 29 and 31 March 2001.

Please click here to view the document

Sources:  RioMar Agencies Inc., Houston / U.S. Coast Guard