Norway-based small-scale player Kanfer Shipping and shipping agency CB Fenton, part of Chile’s Ultramar, have welcomed Melones Oil Terminal as a new partner for their planned LNG bunkering development in Panama.
Kanfer and CB Fenton signed a memorandum of understanding in December last year to establish a hub for LNG bunkering and small-scale LNG distribution in Panama.
The partners are planning to establish a joint venture (JV) which would charter one or more ships from Kanfer, buy LNG and trade them to the maritime industry as well as gas to power clients in the region.
Plans also include a floating storage unit (FSU) of LNG on the Pacific side.
Terminal operator Melones Oil Terminal (MOTI) and its affiliate company, Trader Tankers, now decided to join this development as “they see Panama as a strategic location for LNG bunkering”, according to a joint statement issued on Thursday.
For this reason, the parties have signed a memorandum of understanding with the purpose of commercializing small-scale LNG bunkering and distribution in Panama and more specifically in Balboa, the statement said.
MOTI operates a bunker and diesel storage facility on the Pacific side of Panama where about 80 percent of the conventional bunkering is being done today, the firms noted.
The parties have in mind establishing a small-scale LNG terminal on the Pacific side, to serve the ports along the Pacific side of Panama and do small-scale LNG distribution along the coast.
Looking for another partner
According to the statement, the partners have had “many discussions with various LNG sources and have identified most of the sources in the region”.
“The group is now determined to bring this project to commercialization and will be starting a feasibility study including bringing in another solid partner from the LNG bunkering and distribution value chain,” the statement said.
The companies have already started discussions with such parties.
“The target remains; we would like to see the service up and running with Kanfer’s state of the art bunkering ships by late 2025/early 2026,” the statement concluded.