1st Cove Point Marcellus Shipment to Japan Goes Thru Panama Canal

LNG Sakura – now on its way to Japan

A sharp MDN reader recently emailed us to ask about that first shipment of Marcellus Shale LNG exported from Cove Point that is heading to Japan, wondering if the ship would transit through the Panama Canal to get to Asia. We had to say we didn’t know! But now we do know. And the answer is “yes”–that ship is going through the Panama Canal. Last week MDN reported that the second shipment of Marcellus molecules from Cove Point had been loaded onto the LNG carrier Sakura, and that the Sakura is heading to Japan (see Cove Point LNG Ships First Marcellus Cargo to Japan). Before June 2016, large LNG carriers could not pass through the Panama Canal. In 2016 new locks were installed to make it possible for larger ships, like the Sakura, to transit through. By using the Panama Canal, ships save an extra 7,800 miles, bypassing a trip around the tip of South America. Since 2016 more than 300 LNG carriers have used the Canal. Here’s the news that the Sakura is already through the Canal and now in the Pacific Ocean, steaming toward Japan…

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