First LNG ship transits Panama Canal

First LNG ship transits Panama Canal

The first ever cargo of LNG entered the expanded Panama Canal yesterday in the latest ‘new era’ of shipping with the opening of the canal’s larger locks in June.

The Shell-chartered “Maran Gas Apollonia” LNG carrier entered the new Agua Clara locks on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal.

The 289m in length and 45m in beam – arrived from the Sabine Pass LNG Terminal on the US Gulf Coast.

Jorge L. Quijano, Panama Canal administrator said: “The transit of the first LNG vessel through the new Panama Canal locks is a milestone in the waterway’s history.”

The expanded Canal can accommodate 90% of the world’s LNG ships, which is expected to have a major impact on global LNG flows and offer a variety of benefits to shippers.

“LNG trade will greatly benefit from the expansion and we will look forward to welcoming even more LNG vessels through the waterway,” added Quijano. “This transmit marks the beginning of a new era that will result in cleaner and lower cost energy for the world.”

In addition to the LNG transit, 53 ships have passed through the expanded Canal since its 26 June inauguration including 22 LPG tankers, 28 container ships and two vehicle carriers.

Voyage times will take up to 22.8 days round-trip, allowing US gas deliveries to major Asian importers highly competitive.

The Maran Gas Apollonia and Shell International Trading & Shipping Company have been awarded the “Green Connection Award” in their commitment to emissions reductions by using the Panama Canal Route.

By using the Panama Canal Green Route, the ship contributes to the environment by reducing Co2 emission from the shipping industry.