The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has received a grant from the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to support plans for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal.
The ACP aims to develop new infrastructure that will handle LNG tanker traffic after the completion of the Panama Canal expansion.
The feasibility study funded by USTDA will allow the ACP to set priorities and prepare projects related to LNG infrastructure and natural gas utilisation at the canal.
ACP administrator and CEO Jorge L Quijano said: "As we near the completion of the Panama Canal expansion, we are eager to explore new segments such as LNG, which are now possible given our enhanced capacity to accommodate longer and wider ships.
"This grant by the USTDA will build on plans and projects related to LNG that are already ongoing and will present us with the ability to evaluate additional market opportunities and client services for the benefit of the US – Panama energy trade."
The new LNG terminal is expected to support the implementation of maritime and energy-related projects that are intended to handle increased shipping traffic through the expanded canal.
Recently, the next stage of the Panama Canal expansion programme started with the filling of Cocoli’s locks on the Pacific side, after similar work on the Atlantic side was completed.
Lock filling and subsequent testing activities are expected to take three months, and the expansion programme is scheduled for completion next year.
After finished, PSA Panama will have an annual handling capacity of two million TEU containers.
Image: Workers at the Panama Canal’s LNG Terminal. Photo: courtesy of USTDA.