The bunkering services will be offered under the first permit of its kind granted by the Panama Maritime Authority.
Crowley’s advanced energy group will oversee the operation, which will involve managing ship-to-ship LNG transfer services. Crowley is aiming to begin providing the bunkering and related port solutions, including cryogenic tank cooldown services, starting in 2024.
“LNG is widely accepted as the most practical transitional alternative fuel for maritime shipping and to stay ahead of the rapid deployment of LNG-powered ships across the global market, Crowley is strategically growing its LNG bunkering operations across North and Central America,” said James Fowler, senior vice president and general manager, Crowley Shipping. “The Panama Canal will become a key location for vessels to take on LNG, and Crowley’s future Panamanian bunkering service will give international ship owners confidence to continue to adopt LNG across their fleets.”
The new location at the Panama Canal will mark a significant expansion of Crowley’s LNG supply chain and engineering solutions beyond the U.S. market. In 2014, Crowley was the first to receive a small-scale LNG export license from the U.S. Department of Energy, which allowed the company to pioneer small-scale LNG transport and engineering to Puerto Rico.
In 2022, Crowley expanded its services with the inauguration of an LNG truck-loading terminal in Peñuelas, Puerto Rico. The company is also developing a 12,000 m3 (3.17 million gallons) LNG bunker barge, which is set to be the largest in the U.S. This barge, set to begin service in 2024, has a long-term charter agreement with Shell for ships on the U.S. East Coast.
Based in Jacksonville, Florida, Crowley has been providing maritime and logistics services to Central America, including Panama, for over 60 years.