Contributed by: Don WinnerMaritime Global Net - Wednesday, 17 September 2008 THE Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says that it is considering a US$400m loan to help finance the historic Panama Canal Expansion Program. The announcement came from Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the IDB, at a breakfast forum hosting President Martín Torrijos of Panama. "Our interest in this project demonstrates our confidence in the economic transformation that you (President Torrijos) have been leading during your administration," said Mr Moreno. “The IDB’s announcement signifies that Panama is on the right track. As a country, we have laid the foundation that helps to make the expansion project possible. In addition, this loan consideration reinforces the bank’s trust and confidence in the Panama Canal Authority,” said Canal Administrator Alberto Zubieta. “Determining the financing structure for the Canal’s expansion is a critical part of the process, and we appreciate all of the interest received thus far.” Expansion will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, which will double capacity and allow more traffic and longer, wider ships.