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May 08, 2018

Panama Canal celebrates first Maryland to Japan LNG shipment

The Panama Canal welcomed the inaugural transit of the LNG Sakura as it carried the first-ever liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipment from the Dominion Cove Point terminal in the United States to Japan.

The transit, which occurred a week ago, marks the beginning of a new LNG commercial route between the United States and Asia from the recently inaugurated Dominion Cove Point terminal in Maryland, the second U.S. LNG export terminal to come online after Sabine Pass began operations in 2016.

The Bahamas-flagged LNG Sakura is a Neopanamax vessel, measuring 300 meters in length and 49 meters in beam. Its transit on Saturday began in the Agua Clara locks on Panama's Atlantic side and headed towards the Cocolí locks in the Pacific.

The Panama Canal has emerged as an important link in the global LNG supply chain ever since the Inauguration of its Expanded Canal in 2016, when the waterway first began transiting LNG vessels.

In FY 2018, the Canal's LNG traffic is expected to grow by 50 percent compared to FY 2017, increasing from 163 to approximately 244 transits.

Source: Panama Canal Administration