LNG, LPG Carrier Toll Increases Proposed by Panama Canal Authority | 2017-06-05

A proposed revision of tolls by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) would raise rates charged for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) carrier transits while lowering rates for some container ship transits.

Wood Mackenzie’s Andrew Buckland, principal analyst for LNG shipping, said the proposed higher rates for LNG transits would not have a significant effect on cargos leaving the Gulf of Mexico. An approximately 15% increase in the toll works out to just under 3 cents/MMBtu added to the freight rate from the Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana to Japan, he told NGI.

The canal makes more revenue from LNG carriers than from the much smaller LPG carriers, Buckland said. The new rates for LPG carriers represent a bigger increase and look as though they are intended to shift some of these cargos to smaller vessels that can transit the canal’s older locks. This would free up capacity in the larger locks for LNG and for container cargos, which are more lucrative than LNG, Buckland said.

ACP released its proposal last week. The new tolls for LNG vessels would maintain the previously established cubic meter measurement of cargo capacity as well as four volume “bands” that were established last year when previous tolls for LNG carriers were set following their proposal in 2015.

The laden toll for the first band, up to 60,000 cubic meters, would increase to US$2.88/cubic meter from $2.50. The toll for the next 30,000 cubic meters would be $2.47, up from $2.15; the....

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