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First LNG-powered vessel transits the Panama Canal

First LNG-powered vessel transits the Panama Canal
The first vessel powered by LNG, transited the Panama Canal on 30 October, a US-flagged box ship named Isola Bella.

‘The use of LNG as fuel in US defines a major change for the shipping industry, since the use of this fuel pollution to the environment is reduced by a large percentage, so that the whole world will benefit from the use of this product,’ Panama Canal Authority (ACP) vp of operations Esteban Saenz said.

The vessel was built at a cost of $350m, she has 232 m long and is capable of carrying 3,100 teu. By switching to LNG vessel it reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 98%, sulphur dioxide 97%, carbon dioxide and 76%.

The Isola Bella will enter service in the fourth quarter of 2015 from Jacksonville, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico. A second vessel Marlin-class will be launched in the third quarter of 2015 and enter service in the first quarter of 2016.