Four Huge LNG Tankers Pass Through Panama Canal in One Day

by Duane Nichols on October 15, 2018

LNG Tanker Gemmata departs Cove Point in Maryland on March 1, 2018

Panama Canal reaches new Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) milestone

From an Article by David Rowlands, LNG Industry, October 2, 2018

The Panama Canal Authority has announced that the Canal has reached a new milestone, after four LNG ships with beams of up to 160 ft (49 m) transited the waterway in a single day through the Neopanamax Locks.

This breaks the record set by the Canal on 17 April 2018, when three LNG vessels transited the waterway on the same day.

Ribera del Duero Knutsen (cargo capacity of 173 000 m3) and Maran Gas Pericles (cargo capacity of 174 000 m3) transited northbound, while Torben Spirit (cargo capacity of 174 000 m3) and Oceanic Breeze (cargo capacity of 155 300 m3) transited southbound, facilitating international trade between customers in South Korea, Japan, Chile and the US Gulf Coast.

Resulting from the experience acquired with the transit of more than 4200 Neopanamax vessels, the Panama Canal introduced changes to its Transit Reservation System to offer two slots per day to LNG vessels. These modifications have allowed the expanded Canal’s capacity to be optimised, in order to meet specific demands such as the transit of four LNG vessels today.

The modifications, which were announced in August this year and that came into effect on 1 October, also allow lifting certain daylight restrictions for LNG vessels, as well as meetings between LNG vessels in opposite directions in Gatun Lake.

Panama Canal Administrator, Jorge L. Quijano, said: “The transit of these four LNG ships in just one day demonstrates the Panama Canal’s commitment to maximising the efficiency, flexibility and reliability of its service to all customers.”

With these modifications now effective, the Canal claims that it has reinforced its ability to handle the growing LNG transit demand from the US once the different export terminals begin operation.


First LNG Cargo Sets Sail from Maryland’s Cove Point Export Terminal

From an Article by gCaptain, published March 5, 2018

The first cargo of liquefied natural gas has set sail from the Dominion Energy Cove Point LNG export terminal in Maryland, where the newly constructed liquefaction facility is undergoing final commissioning.

The commissioning cargo of natural gas left the Cove Point facility on the Chesapeake Bay on Thursday, March 1, according to Dominion Energy. The cargo was loaded onboard the LNG tanker, Gemmata.

Shell NA LNG is providing the natural gas needed for liquefaction during the commissioning process. Once commissioning is complete, the Cover Point terminal will produce LNG for ST Cove Point, which is the joint venture of Sumitomo Corporation and Tokyo Gas, and for Gail Global (USA) LNG, the U.S. affiliate of GAIL (India) LTD, under 20-year contracts.

All major equipment has been operated and is being commissioned as expected following a comprehensive round of testing and quality assurance activities, according to Dominion Energy.

The Cove Point liquefaction facility is designed to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has a nameplate capacity of 5.25 million tonnes per year of LNG (mtpa), equivalent to approximately 8.3 million gallons of LNG per day.

The Cove Point terminal is now the second LNG export terminal in the contiguous United States to export natural gas. The first terminal, Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, began exporting in February 2016 and has transformed the United States into a global gas supplier.

Construction of the Cove Point liquefaction facility began in October 2014 after more than three years of federal, state and local permit reviews and approvals. Dominion says that with a cost of approximately $4 billion, the Cove Point facility is the largest construction project ever for Maryland and for the company. Construction has involved more than 10,000 craft workers and a payroll of more than $565 million.

The 72,727 dwt LNG carrier Gemmata was built in 2004 and is flagged in Singapore.

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