A VERY large liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carrier, the 49,999-dwt Lycaste Peace operated by NYK, made history by becoming the first vessel to complete a commercial passage through the new locks of the expanded Panama Canal on June 27.
In 1914, the NYK-operated Tokushima Maru was the first Japanese-flagged vessel to pass through the canal, and over the 100-plus years since then, NYK and the Republic of Panama have maintained an important partnership, the shipping company said in a statement.
The 230-metre long Panama-flagged Lycaste Peace, with a breath of 36.6 metres and a gross tonnage of 446,021 tonnes, was transporting LPG procured in the US by the Astomos Energy Corporation to Japan. Astomos Energy is one of the world's largest players in the LPG business, and NYK has maintained a close business relationship with the company for many years.
Astomos Energy plans to increase its LPG handling volume from the current 10 million tonnes annually to 12 million tonnes yearly by 2017.
The expanded Panama Canal is expected to shorten transportation days to Japan from the US East Coast and allow for further diversification of LPG supply sources, the company said.
Source : HKSG.