The head of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) says he expects the volume of liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers traversing the waterway to grow 50% by September, according to Reuters.
Jorge Quijano based his prediction on growing global demand for LNG from the US which is enjoying a gas production glut.
There was a slight drop-off in US LNG exports in September 2017 because of the effects of Hurricane Harvey on ports in Texas and Louisiana. But that has passed and the prior rising trend has resumed.
Houston-based Cheniere Energy, a market leader, has seen increasing traffic through its Sabine Pass LNG facility in Louisiana, has plans to add a fifth train (a facility for liquefaction and purification of the gas) there and to open a whole new plant near Corpus Christi, Texas.
The Panama Canal received 60 LNG vessels in the last quarter of 2017 and, Quijano says, is about to reach an average of one LNG tanker per day.