The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has signed a cooperation agreement with the Port of Lake Charles in Louisiana, US, in a bid to attract new customers from the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.
This agreement will help both the canal and the port to cooperate in marketing activities, information exchange, market research, training and technology, along with other mutually beneficial initiatives.
As the present canal will not allow the transit of LNG vessels due to their beam dimensions, the new development builds upon the benefits of future expanded canal.
Panama Canal Administrator and CEO Jorge Quijano said: "My interactions with potential users of the expanded canal while in Louisiana have been extremely relevant to understand their expectations, as well as promoting key business strategies and identifying ways to improve efficiency when the Canal expansion programme is completed."
In order to export products to Asia through the Panama Canal, many companies would begin building new plants or expanding their existing LNG liquefaction capacity over the coming years, Panama Canal Authority (ACP) stated.
US deep water port Port of Lake Charles provides direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. It is claimed to be most active in the petrochemical industry due to the development of mineral resources such as sulphur, oil products and natural gas.
Last month, ACP started the installation of new gates at the canal, marking 84% completion of the canal expansion programme.
Image: Officials of ACP and Port of Lake Charles during the signing ceremony. Photo: courtesy of Panama Canal Authority.