The Panama Canal has marked another milestone with the first-ever transit of a Suezmax crude oil tanker which started its journey through the expanded locks yesterday, the Panama Canal confirmed on its twitter account.
The vessel in question is the 2016-built Aegean Unity arriving to the new locks from the US West Coast port of Martinez, according to AIS data provided by Marine Traffic.
Featuring a length of 274 meters and a width of 48 meters, the 158,932 dwt ship is owned by Greece-based company Arcadia Shipmanagement.
The expanded canal is expected to reshape global shipping routes, increasing shipping traffic to the US East Coast.
At the end of July, the canal handled its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier, the Shell-chartered Maran Gas Apollonia, which marked “the beginning of a new era that will result in cleaner and lower cost energy for the world,” Panama Canal Administrator and CEO Jorge L. Quijano said.
The canal will allow vessels departing the US East and Gulf Coast for Asia to cut voyage times to 22.8 days roundtrip. Vessels departing the US Gulf Coast for the West Coast of South America will also experience time savings.
World Maritime News Staff