Crowley plans to launch Panama Canal LNG bunkering ops in 2024

US shipping and logistics company Crowley plans to start providing liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering services on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal in 2024.

The firm will deliver LNG via ship-to-ship transfers to LNG-powered vessels under the first permit issued by the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) for the provision of such services, it said in a statement.

With a potential start date in 2024, Crowley is preparing to provide bunkering and related port solutions to deliver “lower-emission” LNG to vessels for fuel and cryogenic tank cooldown services at the canal, it said.

“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,” James Fowler, senior VP and general manager, Crowley Shipping, said.

“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,” Fowler said.

The Panama Canal location expands Crowley’s LNG solutions.

In 2014, Crowley received the first small-scale LNG export license from the US Department of Energy for LNG transportation from the US into FTA and non-FTA countries.

The company then pioneered small scale LNG transportation and engineering to Puerto Rico, it said in the statement.

Crowley’s services expanded in 2022 with the opening of an LNG truck loading terminal in Peñuelas, Puerto Rico.

In addition, a 12,000-cbm 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 said.

US-based Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding is building Crowley’s large LNG bunkering barge.

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