Money Control: No rain in Panama means more pain in LNG

June 22, 2023

But here’s the rub: Its system of artificial lakes and locks requires plentiful rainfall in order to handle the deep drafts of large ships. As part of efforts to conserve water and maintain passage, the canal operator has reduced the maximum draft allowed on its newest locks that carry the largest vessels. In theory, this shouldn’t affect LNG tankers, which enjoy shallower drafts than the current limits. However, Doug Brown, LNG marine manager at Poten & Partners, a consultancy, points out that container cargoes, which are more affected, may need to be split onto multiple ships to comply. Since the canal has only so many slots available per day, higher container traffic can create bottlenecks of its own.

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