Less than three years since its opening, the Panama Canal has welcomed the 6,000th Neopanamax vessel transit.
The milestone was achieved by Energy Liberty, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier, which passed through the expanded waterway on April 23, 2019, sailing southbound from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
Buenos días desde las esclusas de Agua Clara en Colón, donde hoy, nuevamente producto del trabajo en equipo, recibimos el tránsito 6,000 por el Canal ampliado a menos de 3 años de su apertura. Se trata del Energy Liberty, un buque de gas natural licuado en ruta de 🇺🇸 a 🇯🇵. pic.twitter.com/tl3WBoFSvL
— Jorge Luis Quijano (@jorgelquijano) April 23, 2019
The Japan-flagged ship reached Panama after visiting the Port of Cove Point in the United States, VesselsValue’s data shows.
“Once again, we are proud to celebrate this achievement alongside our world-class workforce and LNG industry partners, who have swiftly adopted the waterway since the inauguration of the Expanded Canal less than three years ago,” Jorge L. Quijano, Panama Canal Administrator, said.
“We look forward to continuing to exceed expectations for our customers, while offering the same reliable service, flexibility and opportunity as always.”
The 163,240 cbm LNG carrier is jointly owned by MOL and Tokyo LNG Tanker. Built in 2018, the 300-meter-long vessel transports LNG from the Cove Point Project in the US to Tokyo Gas.
This milestone transit follows the 5,000th Neopanamax transit in December 2018. Of the 6,000 Neopanamax vessels that have transited to date, more than 50 percent have been from the container segment. LPG vessels constitute another 26 percent, and LNG vessels make up 11 percent. Dry and liquid bulk carriers, car carriers and cruise ships make up the remaining transits.
The expanded waterway closed its 2018 fiscal year with a record tonnage of 442.1 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS), representing a 9.5 percent increase from the previous year.