The number of liquefied natural gas (LNG ) carriers transiting the expanded Panama Canal has been steadily rising since July 2016 reaching record highs last year, driven by US exports of shale gas.
The expanded canal is able to accommodate about 90 percent of the world’s current LNG tankers. Only the Q-Flex and Q-Max tankers used for exports from Qatar are not able to use the canal.
The traffic data by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) shows that the number of transits by LNG tankers spiked to 163 in fiscal year 2017 as compared to 17 in the year before. This represents a year-on-year rise of 859 percent.
In total, 11,992 vessels have transited the canal in fiscal year 2017. There were 1,039 transits of LPG and LNG, placing the combined total fourth in the number of overall transits, according to the data.
Currently, only one LNG carrier is allowed to transit the canal daily. It has been previously reported that the authority is looking to double that number by October 2018.
LNG World News Staff