Bloomberg reports that LNG shippers are dealing with costly delays when travelling through the Panama Canal.
According to Octavio Simoes, president of LNG export terminal developer Sempra LNG & Midstream, when a tanker is held up at the canal it can cost traders in the region of US$45 000 per day.
According to Simoes the delays are affecting more than one third of vessels passing through the canal and could place a limit on the amount of LNG the US can sell in Asia.
The Panama Canal Authority has refuted the claims in a statement:
There are currently no delays at the Panama Canal for any vessel segment. For LNG vessels in particular – which have one reservation slot per day to transit the Expanded Canal – vessels have an average Canal Water Time of 20.5 hours (this includes both waiting and transit times). In some instances, when LNG vessels arrive ahead of their reserved date, the Panama Canal has been able to advance their transits and provide even further time savings. To-date, more than 2000 Neopanamax vessels from the LNG, LPG and container segments have transited the Expanded Canal, far surpassing our expectations for this point in time. As always, the Panama Canal remains focused on offering its customers a safe, reliable and efficient service.
Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/liquid-natural-gas/03102017/lng-shippers-face-a-us45-000-a-day-problem/