Seaspan in MoU on Panama Canal LNG bunkering

Written by Nick Blenkey
Tanker that will provide Panama Canal LNG bunkering

Seaspan 7,600 cubic meter LNG bunkering tanker could be headed for Panama. [Image: Seaspan ULC]

Canada’s Seaspan ULC has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Arlington, Va., headquartered AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) that centers on providing liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering services to ships transiting the Panama Canal. The companies will also explore options to provide this and similar services in regional markets served by AES’s Costa Norte LNG terminal in Colón, Panama.

Currently, AES is developing a project to expand the Costa Norte terminal with a a new LNG refueling infrastructure (ship loading facility) that, along with the arrival in Panama of a 7,600 cubic meter LNG bunkering tanker provided by Seaspan ULC, will allow Panama Canal LNG bunkering services to be offered in the second half of 2024 and, eventually, deliveries of LNG to other markets in the region. The ship loading facility is scheduled to begin operations in November of this year as an integral part of the services at the Costa Norte LNG terminal that will include:

  • Cool down: cooling service for LNG carriers reloading or resuming marine operation after a period of maintenance downtime.
  • Temporary storage and reloading: with the capacity of the Costa Norte storage tank (180,000 cubic meters), market operators will be able to store their LNG temporarily and withdraw it on demand.
  • Refueling for bunkering and regional distribution: with a model that replicates the operation of the world’s main terminals, the Costa Norte terminal will enable the delivery of stored LNG to be used both for LNG supply, as marine fuel for ships transiting the Panama Canal, and for emerging markets in neighboring countries.

The MOU was signed at the recent Third International LNG Global Forum, held in Cartagena, Colombia.

“Seaspan is proud to collaborate with AES to provide LNG bunkering in the Panama region and lead the way in providing energy transformation opportunities in the global marine sector,” said Ian McIver, president of Seaspan Energy. “Together we will provide low-carbon solutions for ship owners who want to decarbonize their operations and transition to cleaner marine fuels.”

“We are on the doorstep of a new era in sustainable energy,” said Miguel Bolinaga, president of AES in Panama. “The collaboration with our shipowner partner and the innovations at our Costa Norte Terminal position us as leaders in driving sustainable, efficient and affordable solutions to meet the growing demands of the market.”

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