OREANDA-NEWS. Trinidad and Tobago LNG producer Atlantic's first cargo to cross the Panama Canal's new locks will leave the company's Point Fortin liquefaction complex tomorrow on route to Mexico, the company says.

The expanded canal, inaugurated last month, can now accommodate most LNG tankers, cutting voyage times.

The canal's ability to accommodate post-Panamax tankers "augurs well for Trinidad and Tobago, as it shortens the time and distance for larger LNG tankers to reach targeted markets particularly in Asia," Atlantic's chief executive Nigel Darlow says.

The cargo will be carried by the 138,000m³ BP-owned British Merchant that is scheduled to pass through the canal on 27 July.

Shell's 160,000m³ Maran Gas Apollonia is scheduled to traverse the canal today, becoming the first LNG carrier to pass through the expanded waterway.

"Prior to June 2016, approximately 8pc of the world's LNG tankers utilized the canal," Darlow says. "However, with the expansion, 90pc of the worldwide fleet can now traverse."

The expanded canal "strengthens market accessibility for Trinidad´s LNG, especially to the Asian market which accounted for 72pc of worldwide LNG demand in 2015."