Crowley makes headway for first LNG bunkering at Panama Canal’s Pacific side

U.S. shipping and logistics company Crowley has received the first permit issued by the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) for the provision of LNG bunkering services on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal.

Courtesy of Crowley

Under this permit, Crowley is advancing plans 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 with a potential start date in 2024.

“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.”

The company has served Central America including Panama for more than 60 years with maritime and logistics services and is now expanding its LNG solutions.

In 2014, Crowley received the first small-scale LNG export license from the U.S. Department of Energy for LNG transportation from the U.S. into Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Non-Free Trade (NFTA) countries. The company then pioneered small-scale LNG transportation and engineering in Puerto Rico. 

Crowley’s services expanded in 2022 with the opening of an LNG truck-loading terminal in Peñuelas, Puerto Rico. A 12,000 cubic meter LNG bunker barge, the largest in the U.S., is under construction with a long-term charter agreement with Shell to begin service in 2024 for ships on the U.S. East Coast. 

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