Panama grants Crowley permit for Panama Canal LNG bunkering

Written by Nick Blenkey
AMP permit allows Panama Canal LNG bunkering by Crowley

Crowley has received the first permit issued by the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) to provide liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering services on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal.

Crowley’s advanced energy group will operate the ship-to-ship LNG transfer services, with a potential start date in 2024. Crowley is preparing to provide bunkering and related port solutions to safely deliver LNG to vessels for fuel and for cryogenic tank cooldown services at the canal.

“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 Panama Canal location expands Crowley’s 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 to 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 (3.17 million gallons) LNG bunker barge, the largest in the U.S, is under construction for the company at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, 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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