Seaspan is Building LNG Vessel for LNG Bunkering and Storage in Panama

LNG tanker
Canada's Seaspan is building an LNG tanker which will operate in Panama to provide bunkering services (Seaspan)

Published Oct 6, 2023 8:21 PM by The Maritime Executive

Seaspan has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with global energy company, AES that will see the launch of LNG storage and bunkering operations in the region around the Panama Canal. The Canadian design and shipbuilding firm will be delivering a 7,600 cbm LNG bunkering vessel which will be operating from AES’s newly expanded Costa Norte terminal to provide the basis for a broad range of services.

“We are on the doorstep of a new era in sustainable energy. The collaboration with our shipowner partner and the innovations at our Costa Norte Terminal position us as leaders in driving sustainable, efficient, and affordable solutions to meet the growing demands of the market,” said Miguel Bolinaga, president of AES in Panama.

Seaspan is building the LNG tanker vessel which will begin commercial operations during the second half of 2024. It will be working with the Costa Norte Terminal to provide deliveries of LNG and later other fuel products to shipping calling at or transiting the Panama Canal. It will also be available to provide services to the region surrounding the terminal which is located in Colon, Panama.


AES's Costa Norte terminal in Colon, Panama (Delta Marine Consultants)


The terminal began operations in 2019 adjacent to the AES Colón power station. The plant and regasification terminal were brought into operation and included plans for the largest LNG tank in the Caribbean. Currently, AES is undertaking a project to expand the terminal adding a new LNG refueling infrastructure that will also be able to service methane tankers. 

The Ship Loading Facility is scheduled to begin operations in November of this year as an integral part of the services of the Costa Norte LNG terminal. AES highlights that this infrastructure promises to change the landscape of the regional energy sector, enabling the terminal to offer services for the LNG industry.

The refueling and bunkering operations will enable the delivery of stored LNG to be used both for LNG supply, as marine fuel for the growing fleet transiting the Panama Canal, and for emerging markets in neighboring countries. In addition, the increased capacity of the Costa Norte storage tank (180,000 cbm), will provide the ability to offer temporary storage and reloading services. Customers will be able to hold their fuel at the terminal and withdraw it on demand.

With the growth of the global LNG fleet and the prominent location of the Panama Canal, the companies believe these services will provide a strong benefit to the global shipping industry.