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Crowley First to Offer LNG Bunkering at Panama Canal

Florida-based Crowley has been issued the first permit by the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) to LNG bunkering services on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal.

Crowley’s advanced energy group will manage the ship-to-ship LNG transfer services likely to start in 2024. The company is preparing to provide bunkering and related port solutions to safely deliver lower-emission LNG to vessels for fuel and cryogenic tank cooldown services at the canal. .

“LNG is widely accepted as the most practical transitional alternative fuel for maritime shipping and to stay ahead of the rapid deployment of LNG-powered ships across the global market, Crowley is strategically growing its LNG bunkering operations across North and Central America,” said James Fowler, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Crowley Shipping.

“The Panama Canal will become a key location for vessels to take on LNG, and Crowley’s future Panamanian bunkering service will give international ship owners confidence to continue to adopt LNG across their fleets.”

In 2014, Crowley received the first small-scale LNG export license from the US Department of Energy for LNG transportation from the US into Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Non-Free Trade (NFTA) countries.

A 12,000 cu metre LNG bunker barge, the largest in the US is under construction with a long-term charter agreement with Shell to begin service in 2024 for ships on the US East Coast.

Crowley has served Central America including Panama for more than 60 years with maritime and logistics services.

Early October, Canada-based Seaspan and energy company AES Corp have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the development of the LNG Bunkering business. The collaboration is primarily aimed at offering LNG bunkering services to shipping vessels transiting the Panama Canal and exploring similar opportunities in regional markets.

Source : Seatrade