The tanker of liquefied petroleum gas CRYSTAL RIVER a newly launched Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) vessel belonging to Japan’s Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (K Line), is the latest addition to the registry of ships under the Panama flag.
Panama remains a leader in flagging ships with more than 8,000 registered vessels, representing 18% of the world's maritime fleet, while 31.5% of the neopanamax that transit through the extended canal are LPG vessels.
LPG ships which are built expressly for this purpose and cannot be used to carry other types of cargo.
The ship registration ceremony was held at the Kawasaki Shipbuilding Company shipyard in the city of Takamatsu, Japan.
The Crystal River, dimensions are 37.20 meters wide and 230 meters long with 46,793 tonnes of dead weight and 54,171 tonnes of gross register, and will be used by Astomos Energy, said a Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) press release.
Since its commercial opening on June 26, 2016, LPG traffic in the expanded Canal has grown exponentially and has become the second largest segment of traffic in the Neopanamax locks, accounting for 31.5% of ships in transit.
More than 1,500 neopanamax ships have passed through the new locks. Container carriers represent around 51.3% of the traffic followed by LPG and liquefied natural gas carriers, with almost 31.5% and 9.1%, respectively.
Other segments, such as bulk carriers, tankers, car carriers and cruisers have also transited the expanded route.
Panama Canal tonnage increased by 22.2%, and revenues grew by 12.5%, comparing the fiscal year 2017 with 2016 (the fiscal year runs from October to September of the following year).
On average, 5.9 ships transit the expanded canal each day, which exceeds the original forecasts of two to three daily transits for the first year of operation.