The Offshore-energy portal reports that 58 tankers with a total volume of 6.74 million tons passed through the Neopanamax locks (Panama Canal). For comparison, in January 2020, 54 LNG tankers passed through the canal. This result was a consequence of the channel’s reaction to the demand caused by the recent “boom” in the energy market.
The Panama Canal Authority notes that it has made a number of adjustments to its operations, which has made it more flexible and able to respond to changing market conditions. Several changes were made to the transit booking system during January to allow slots available for Neopanamax vessels to be auctioned for 96 hours prior to transit. Following the changes, the Panama Canal held 25 auctions, 9 of which were awarded to LNG carriers. The increase in LNG tankers’ transit is a response to winter condition s boosting the demand for liquefied natural gas for power generation in Asia.