Tuesday, June 30, 2015

LNG Terminal Coming to Panama Canal

By Mark Edward Nero

The US Trade and Development Agency on June 26 awarded a grant to the Panama Canal Authority to support the planning of a liquefied natural gas import terminal at the Panama Canal.

If the ongoing expansion project is completed next year as planned, the Canal is expected to handle significant LNG tanker traffic. In order to capitalize on this growth, the Canal Authority is developing LNG-related infrastructure projects, including an import terminal.

The USTDA-funded feasibility study will help the ACP set strategic priorities and plan projects related to LNG infrastructure and natural gas utilization at the Panama Canal. The LNG terminal is anticipated to support the implementation of maritime- and energy-related projects that would accommodate increased shipping traffic through the expanded Canal.

“As we near the completion of the Panama Canal Expansion, we are eager to explore new segments such as LNG, which are now possible given our enhanced capacity to accommodate longer and wider ships,” Canal Authority CEO Jorge Quijano said. “This grant by the USTDA will build on plans and projects related to LNG that are already ongoing and will present us with the ability to evaluate additional market opportunities and client services for the benefit of the US-Panama energy trade.”

The Canal’s re-inauguration is currently scheduled for April 2016.