The Panama Canal and the US Agency for Trade and Development (USTDA) signed a technical cooperation agreement to promote the construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal, a new market that opens with the expansion of the waterway today reported an official source.

"We are exploring new segments (business), such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), which can serve the Canal because we have the ability to receive larger vessels," the administrator said Friday the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Jorge Quijano, shortly after signing the agreement.

For the new expanded canal will receive ships with capacity for 12,000 containers, triple the current amount. The energy industry, especially liquefied gas, makes use of these mega ships, known as post-Panamax ships.

The agreement between the ACP and the USTDA includes conducting a feasibility study to promote the construction of liquefied gas structures, including a terminal, as said the administration of the waterway in a note.

"This agreement will allow us to evaluate additional opportunities for market and client services that benefit energy trade between Panama and the United States," Quijano added.

The expansion of the inter-oceanic route, one of the most important engineering works in modern history began in 2007 with a total investment of 5,250 million dollars and is expected to be ready in early 2016.

Currently, 6% of world trade passes through the Panama Canal, with an significant increase after the new Canal is finished in 2016.