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Monday, September 01 2014 @ 03:34 AM EDT

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Miami-Dade executives lobby to deepen port

Canal Expansion BY STEVE HARRISON - sharrison@MiamiHerald.com : Port of Miami-Dade executives hope their plan to dredge the port's main entrance to 52 feet is one step closer to reality after the U.S. Senate last week earmarked $500,000 for the project. Though the dredging's total cost is $157 million, port officials believe the Senate's actions show the project is being taken seriously. The port wants a deeper channel to handle the world's largest cargo ships and to complete with other ports, including the Bahamas' Freeport, which is 50 feet. ''This is good news,'' said acting port director Bill Johnson. ``We would have been happy if it would have been $250,000 or $100,000. It's really an eye to the future. It would put us at a competitive advantage.'' The port received in 2005 two cranes designed to load and unload containers from the world's largest cargo ships, known as post-Panamax because they are too big to fit through the Panama Canal. Deepening the harbor would be another investment in the future, officials said. (Editor's Comment: This expansion project would also allow Miami to handle anything that can come through the Panama Canal after the expansion.) (more)
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Endara Threatens to Sue if Canal Project Goes Forward

Canal Expansion Ex-Panamanian President and leader of "Moral Vanguard" movement Guillermo Endara announced he will present a complaint before the (Supreme) Court if the National Assembly approves the measure to send the Panama canal expansion project to a referendum, based on unconstitutionality. According to Endara the National Assembly modifed the bill because "in the proposal sent to the assembly by the executive they said the project would cost $5.25 billion dollars, and now in the assembly the bill they are discussing refers to that number as an estimate." Assemblyman and former Minister of Government and Justice Héctor Alemán said that Endara is "is playing politics with a subject of national interest." (Editor's Comment: There it is. The Arnulfistas have thrown down the gauntlet and can now be counted on to spend all of their efforts to stop the canal expansion project. All non-PRD opposition parties will probably fall in line, but the PRD will probably still get the measure past the popular vote in the referendum.)
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Post-Panamax Vessel Construction

Canal Expansion One of the central justifications presented by the Panama Canal Authority to support their reasoning is current trends in shipbuilding. I did a quick Google pull on "post-panamax teu" and came up with this report on the Odense Steel Shipyard in Denmark. Since the shipyard was rebuilt and from 1962 they built about 150 ships and tankers, and "Panamax" vessels capable of moving 3500 TEU until the mid 1990's. Since 1996 they have built or plans to built another 60 "post-panamax" ships and "ultra-panamax" ships capable of carrying as many as 10,000 TEU or almost three times the carrying capacity of the M-class 3,500 TEU vessels like the 'Margrethe Mærsk'. The trend is clearly toward much bigger ships as manufacturers continue to seek economies of scale in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Bigger ships translate into falling prices at Walmart.
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Panama president approves first step of canal expansion

Canal Expansion By: posted by Julia Kuzeljevich: PANAMA CITY, Panama-- President Martín Torrijos and the Cabinet Council of Panama have approved the proposal to expand the Panama Canal. Dr. Ricaurte Vásquez, Chairman of the Panama Canal Authority's (ACP) Board of Directors and concurrent Minister for Canal Affairs, submitted the said proposal to the National Assembly. The National Assembly will review the proposal and hold discussions that will be open to all Panamanian citizens. If approved, the Assembly will then create a law mandating a referendum to be held after 90 days in which the people of Panama will vote on expansion. "This marks an important milestone for Panama and its Canal, as we take another step toward shaping the future of our country and waterway," said ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta. The Panama Canal expansion would be the largest project at the Canal since its original construction. The project would double the waterway's capacity and allow more traffic by creating a new lane along the Canal through the construction of a new set of locks.
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Panama's President Seeks Bigger Canal

Canal Expansion By KATHIA MARTINEZ Associated Press: PANAMA CITY, Panama — Panama's president sent lawmakers a bill Monday calling for a referendum on whether the government should undertake the biggest modifications to the Panama Canal since it was opened in 1914. The project calls for a construction of a third set of locks on the canal that would reduce long lines of ships trying to cross the canal and allow larger ships to pass through. It is projected to cost $5.25 billion in a country whose annual budget is $6.5 billion. President Martin Torrijos says the expansion is necessary to keep the canal competitive in the 21st century. The canal, 105 feet above sea level at its highest point, uses a series of parallel locks to lift ships to Lake Gatun for the transoceanic passage. So-called Panamax ships carrying 4,000 containers can now just barely fit through the canal's 108-foot locks. The new third set would be 177 feet wide and be able to accommodate post-Panamax ships that can carry twice as many containers. Opponents of the proposed canal expansion contend the project is risky because it is based on uncertain projections about maritime trade and the world economy. Recent polls indicate that a majority of Panamanians favor the expansion.
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Canal Expansion Plan Going to National Assembly

Canal Expansion PANAMA CITY June 23 (Reuters) - Panama's Congress will debate next week whether to push ahead with an ambitious and costly plan to expand its interoceanic canal, paving the way for an obligatory referendum on the project later this year. President Martin Torrijos announced a $5.25 billion plan in April to add a third lane of locks to the vital maritime route that carries about 4 percent of world trade but is nearing saturation due to an increase in traffic. A spokesman for Torrijos said on Friday that debates over the plan in Panama's Congress, which are expected to last weeks, would likely begin on Monday. The ruling party has a majority in the single-chamber Congress, so approval is largely a foregone conclusion. Once approved, the proposal must be put to a referendum, according to a constitutional law governing any canal expansion plan. The plebiscite would likely be held before year-end. A new set of locks to accommodate bigger ships on their shortcut between the Atlantic and the Pacific would double the waterway's capacity, said the Panama Canal Authority, which operates the waterway. The plan calls for up to $2.3 billion in new loans, although the expansion would eventually be paid for with toll hikes. A source of national pride, the Panama Canal was under U.S. control for much of the 20th century. Former dictator Omar Torrijos, the current president's father, negotiated 1977 treaties that won back control in 1999.
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Expansion of Panama Canal would reverberate locally

Canal Expansion By KATE SHELLNUTT, The Virginian-Pilot: NORFOLK - Far from Hampton Roads, events this year in Panama may determine the future course of large ships headed from Asia to local ports. If the country votes to expand the Panama Canal, large ships once too big to pass through would be able to use the canal as an alternative trans-Pacific route, cutting down about a week of transit time and likely costs. Since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 , demand for trans-Pacific shipping has grown. More than 22 percent of Asian imports to the United States end up in East Coast ports, according to The Journal of Commerce, a trade publication that hosted a two-day Asia/East Coast Maritime Conference in Norfolk that concluded Tuesday. "To the shipper, what's important is to have different options and reliability," said Rodolpho Sabonge, the Panama Canal Authority's corporate planning and marketing Director. "Historically, Panama has been the preferred option." The companies represented by the shipping experts attending the conference increasingly are looking elsewhere as the Panama Canal becomes more congested and cannot fit larger ships. "The Panama Canal is inching closer and closer to current capacity," said Ken Joergensen, a regional manager for Maersk Inc., a global shipping company. "U.S. ports will come together to establish Suez as a new ocean gateway."
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ACP Budget $1.567 Billion for FY2007

Canal Expansion The budget for the Panama Canal Authority for the next fiscal year, more than $1.567 billion dollars, found no objections in the Budget Commision in the National Assembly and went forward to the second debate today in the full assembly. Alberto Alemán Zubieta, who supported the proposed budget during its discussion in first debate, said that this year operating costs increased due to the world-wide hikes in petroleum products. The project budget will fund the operation of the Panama Canal from 1 October 2006 until 31 September 2007, and represents an increase of 11% or $155.1 million dollars more than fiscal year 2006.

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Plan to enlarge Canal stirs up controversy

Canal Expansion By David J. Lynch, USA TODAY: Considering that it opened for business amid the first shots of World War I, it's no surprise that the Panama Canal is having trouble keeping pace with 21st-century maritime traffic. Shippers bringing toys or furniture from China to ports on the East Coast of the USA sometimes must loiter for days before transiting the 50-mile route. The largest cargo carriers, known as "post-Panamax" ships, are too wide to fit through the 92-year-old canal at all. Preserving the canal's commercial relevance is essential for Panama. More than 14% of the government's annual $3.4 billion budget comes from the waterway, which is operated by the independent Panama Canal Authority. But the United States, which controlled the canal and a neighboring strip of land until 1979, also has a major stake in the fabled corridor's future: More than two-thirds of the ships that pass through it are coming from, or going to, American shores. Now, the canal authority is proposing a $5.25 billion project that would double the canal's capacity by adding a deeper, wider third lane. The proposal is the most ambitious canal venture since Teddy Roosevelt engineered the 1903 revolution that created Panama from a malaria-ridden corner of Colombia and carved a trade route where others had tried and failed.
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Panama seeks to expand canal capacity

Canal Expansion By Robert Wright in London: Panama is seeking international support to add a $5.25bn “third lane” to its famous canal by 2014. The expansion of the canal, which already carries 5 per cent of world trade, would transform global commerce by letting the biggest, most modern vessels sail direct from Asia to the east coast of the US. Panama needs to win the support of its own people in a referendum, as well as that of international financiers, who will provide half the cost of the project. On a visit to London last week to explain the plans, Samuel Lewis Navarro, Panama’s foreign minister and vice-president, said that, if the project was not built, the canal’s currently rising share of world trade traffic would start falling. Some sections of the canal and its 12 locks, which could accommodate every ship afloat when it opened in 1914, are too small for the biggest container ships of today. The canal also faces a capacity shortage. Following China’s manufacturing boom, it is carrying nearly 90 per cent of its annual capacity of voyages.
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Supply chain: Smooth sailing at ports

Canal Expansion The National Retail Foundation (NRF) predicts little congestion at maritime ports this fall (peak season), compared to recent years. This according to NRF and global-trade thinktank Global Insight. NRF and Global Insight share a “port tracker” service, which monitors global ports to track trends, and sees no congestion at ports now, or in truck and rail systems, in what is traditionally a ramp-up to peak season. The backlog of ships without reservations at the Panama Canal has been reduced compared with last month. NRF describes this as a “relief,” after labor shortages and port shutdowns plagued global trade in recent summers. The US ports surveyed handled 1.32 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of container traffic in April, which was a 6.2 percent jump over march and a 10 percent jumpt from April 2005. Over the six-month forecast period of the report, volume is expected to climb to a peak of 1.49 million TEU in October, up 8.7% from October 2005. The study looks at inbound container volume, the availability of trucks and railroad cars to move cargo out of the ports, labor conditions and other factors that affect cargo movement and congestion.
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COSCO CEO Endorses Panama Canal Expansion

Canal Expansion Panama City, Panama June 14, 2006 – Captain Wei Jiafu, President and CEO of China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), recently endorsed the potential Panama Canal expansion, citing that a more modern, competitive, 21st century Canal will benefit the global economy and world trade. Nearly five percent of total world trade transits the Panama Canal. Of this trade, 88 percent flows between the United States and Asia. In a speech given in Panama last month, Captain Wei stated that with the rapid development of China’s economy, the Panama Canal becomes more important as a vital link for China to import and export goods to and from the East Coast of the United States, the Caribbean and the East Coast of South America. “I fully support this expansion plan. I believe that the expansion of the Canal will enable more ships to utilize the Panama Canal. It will not only strengthen Panama financially by bringing considerable revenues, promote development of Panama’s maritime industry, and ensure Panama’s position as the regional maritime center, but it will also benefit the growth of regional and world trade,” said Captain Wei.
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Panama hopes to sail into 'First World'

Canal Expansion The first efforts to build the Panama canal more than 120 years ago led to about 30 000 deaths, landslides and personal humiliation for the legendary French engineer, Ferdinand de Lesseps. Now an attempt is being made to launch a vast venture which would carve a new lane through the country and catapult Panama from "the Third World to the First" in the space of less than a decade. The expansion is being vigorously promoted by the President of Panama, Martín Torrijos, son of Omar Torrijos, the subject of Graham Greene's book Getting to Know the General. It was Omar Torrijos who, in 1977, successfully negotiated with the United States president Jimmy Carter to transfer control of the canal from America to Panama, which eventually took place in 2000. To its supporters, the expansion is a magical solution to the ills of a country where 40% live below the poverty line. To its detractors, it is a risky venture with unknown environmental, social and economic risks.
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Panama Canal Authority announces fiscal year 2006 2nd quarter metrics

Canal Expansion PANAMA CITY, Panama--The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has announced second quarter (Q2) operational metrics for fiscal year 2006. During Q2, there was an increase in net tonnage, total transits and transits of Panamax vessels. Additionally, there was a decrease in official accidents. Canal Waters Time (CWT), the average time it takes a vessel to transit the Canal including waiting time for passage, increased in Q2 and booking slot utilization remained steady. These metrics are based on operations from January through March, the second quarter of the ACP's 2006 fiscal year. Panama Canal/Universal Measurement System (PC/UMS) tonnage increased 5.7 percent - to 75.0 million PC/UMS tons from 70.9 million PC/UMS tons. In addition to a spike in tonnage, the Canal realized an increase in traffic. Total Canal transits increased 3.5 percent - to 3,862 transits from 3,730. Moreover, transits of Panamax vessels (100 feet or more in beam and the largest vessels that can pass through the Canal) increased 7.5 percent - to 1,501 transits from 1,396.
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Panama Pushes Canal Increase Abroad

Canal Expansion Panama, Jun 13 (Prensa Latina) Without ruling out important internal debates, the issue of a Panama Canal extension received a new government boost in an international tour to promote it. Panamanian Foreign Minister and First Vice President Samuel Lewis Navarro is touring Europe to campaign for the extension plan in Britain and France as he did earlier in Vienna. In the Austrian capital, Lewis Navarro extolled the initiative that includes construction of a third set of locks over seven years to expedite passage through the inter oceanic road. The diplomat and President Martin Torrijos are carrying out similar efforts in other European nations, the US, Mexico, Colombia and members of the Central American Integration System. In addition, the Panama Canal Authority has successfully promoted the project at meetings of the International Consultant Committee. However, the matter continues to receive criticism at home where detractors consider the project absurd as it is beyond the reasonable reach of a small country with an underdeveloped economy.
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Spain's FCC, ACS, Ferrovial mull 5.250 bln usd Panama Canal contract

Canal Expansion MADRID (AFX) - Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas SA, Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA and Grupo Ferrovial SA are in talks with Panama's government over a 5.250 bln usd contract to extend the Panama Canal, Expansion reported, without citing a source. If the extension project goes ahead, the Canal's loading capacity will be increased by 82 pct to 510 mln tonnes by 2025, the newspaper noted. The Panamanian authorities plan to call a referendum this autumn to approve the project, with work likely to start in 2007, Expansion said, adding that completion is seen in seven years.
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Prosecutor Asks for the Firing of Two AMP Employees

Canal Expansion After filing formal charges accusing two civil employees of using state resources to promote the expansion of the Panama Canal, the Public Prosecutor of the Electoral Office requested the firing of the two, who work for the Panamanian Maritime Authority. Domingo Espino, head of the port of Mensabé, and Isolda Saavedra, coordinator of personnel in that office, used an official computer to make invitations with the logo of the Popular Party, for an event on the expansion. The AMP said that it would take measures but on Friday the employees were still working in their positions.

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Expanding the Panama Canal

Canal ExpansionBY ROBERT R. McMILLAN: There is no doubt that Panama can take on the canal expansion successfully. Hopefully that will mean a totally transparent process for construction contracts and financing. A few weeks ago, Martin Torrijos, president of Panama, announced a well thought-out plan to enlarge the Panama Canal and bringing it up to the needs of the future. Before getting into the specifics, some history, and the challenges going forward, I would be remiss if I did not commend the current management of the Panama Canal Authority, the government agency responsible for operating the canal. The current administrator of the canal, Alberto Aleman, is a United States-educated engineer. He and his Panamanian predecessor, Gilberto Guardia, could not be more professional managers. Each one could very well be running a major company in this country. Panama is fortunate to have had such fine people in charge of the canal during the transition and after its transfer from the United States on Dec. 31, 1999.
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Panama Canal Announces FY 2006 2nd Qtr Metrics

Canal Expansion PANAMA CITY, Panama, June 6, 2006 – The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced today second quarter (Q2) operational metrics for fiscal year 2006. During Q2, there was an increase in net tonnage, total transits and transits of Panamax vessels. Additionally, there was a decrease in official accidents. Canal Waters Time (CWT), the average time it takes a vessel to transit the Canal including waiting time for passage, increased in Q2 and booking slot utilization remained steady. These metrics are based on operations from January through March, the second quarter of the ACP's 2006 fiscal year. Panama Canal/Universal Measurement System (PC/UMS) tonnage increased 5.7 percent – to 75.0 million PC/UMS tons from 70.9 million PC/UMS tons. In addition to a spike in tonnage, the Canal realized an increase in traffic. Total Canal transits increased 3.5 percent – to 3,862 transits from 3,730. Moreover, transits of Panamax vessels (100 feet or more in beam and the largest vessels that can pass through the Canal) increased 7.5 percent – to 1,501 transits from 1,396.
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Govt to Examine Panama Canal Bid

Canal Expansion Panama, Jun 5 (Prensa Latina) President Martin Torrijos´ Cabinet is expected to look into the controversial Panama Canal Authority proposal to enlarge the Panama Canal, so it can be discussed next week by the National Assembly. According to official sources, Parliament President Elias Castillo asserted the deputies will examine the offer to enlarge the canal no later than June 12. So far the government has made no official statement on the issue, but observers believe the ministerial meeting is unnecessary because Martin Torrijos and his main collaborators support the 5.25 billion dollar project to build more locks. After the government and the National Assembly sessions are held, conditions will be favorable to hold a national referendum to approve the Panama Canal extension. Polls show most Panamanians now support expanding the inter-oceanic facility; however, the number of opponents to the plan is increasing and joining ex President Jorge Illueca´s rejection of the initiative. Opponents maintain that engaging in a billion dollar project to be carried out in seven years is unjustifiable and will push the small-economy country into permanent debt. http://www.plenglish.com/Article.asp?ID=%7B249DC1CB-A629-4771-9B45-CEC43014D67B%7D&language=EN


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The wager of Panama

Canal Expansion By Mark Joyce: Of the many foreign-policy decisions for which former United States president Jimmy Carter has been vilified over the years, one of the most heinous in the eyes of his critics is the 1977 treaty under which the US surrendered sovereignty over the Panama Canal. Even as the protracted transfer was concluded at midnight on 31 December 1999 – nineteen years after Carter left office – there were dark mutterings that a terrible mistake was being committed. Much of this concern reflected little more than a chauvinistic belief that a bunch of corrupt, work-shy Latinos were not up to the task of running one of the great monuments of American engineering genius. Even among supporters of the transfer, however, there was widespread acknowledgment that Panama still had much to prove. A fledgling democracy, with no armed forces of its own, a history of dependence on the United States and a GDP smaller than that of Kenya was now assuming full administrative responsibility for one of the world's most important trade routes. Success was far from assured.

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Hotel Owners and PPC Trying to Stop Mega-Port

Canal Expansion Hotel owners are asking President Martin Torrijos to relocate the plannen "mega-port" project. Representatives from the Panamanian Hotel Owners Association (APATEL) said that the construction of the project at the proposed site will make the area an industrial zone and will harm tourism and the hotel business. The mega-port project will require an investment between $600 to $800 million dollars and will general hundreds of jobs. The Panama Ports Company is also trying to stop the construciton of the mega-port, which will compete directly with them. The Panamanian Maritime Authority (AMP) will hold meetings with companies that have indicated an interest in building the project on 6 June. In addition, there's an official delegation from China in town this week to express their interest in the Panama Canal expansion project, and to pressure Torrijos to abandon Panama's diplomatic recognition of Taiwan.
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From sea to sea: PANAMA CANAL

Canal Expansion MITCHELL SMYTH - One hundred years ago, a colossal project was begun to lift ships over mountains. Eight years later, a canal linked the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and saved a 12,500-kilometre trip around South America. They said it couldn't be done. And it couldn't. "It" meant a ditch, at sea level, across the Isthmus of Panama, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific at the place where only 80 kilometres of land separates the two oceans. A century ago debate was swirling here in the newly created country of Panama - which until 1903 had been a province of Colombia - over how to build the canal. The advantages were obvious: it would slice 12,500 kilometres off the sea journey between the U.S. east and west coasts, a tremendous saving in time and money for an emerging industrial country. The French had tried it, between 1881 and 1898, but heat, rain and disease (especially yellow fever and malaria) defeated them. And their engineering was suspect. Having built the Suez Canal, they thought they could do the same in Panama. But Suez was a sea-level canal, through sandy desert; in Panama the mountains of the Continental Divide ran down the spine of the country.

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Frenadeso and Campasinos Against the ACP

Canal ExpansionThe National Front for the Defense of Economic and Social Rights (Frenadeso) and the Farmers Movement Against Dams (CCCE) blamed the Panamanian government and the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) of trying to decieve the public by publishing false information regarding the expansion of the Panama Canal to convince the people to support the measure and to vote in favor of the expansion in an upcoming referendum. Andrés Rodriguez, president of Frenadeso said that one of the "lies" detected in the the ACP report the cost of the project at $5.25 billion dollars, which he says is a false number because the report did not include the interest costs that will raise the cost to at least $6.6 billion. The ACP says that the project will pay for itself through toll increases. Jesus Ruiz of the CCCE doubts that plan to reuse water will avoid the need to flood their lands. He said that the ACP maintains concessions to construct three hydroelectric projects on Indio, Caño Sucio and Coclé del Norte rivers that will need dams to work. Also, they ask president Martín Torrijos why he has not countermanded Law 44 of 1999 as he promised to do last 24 April.
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Panama Canal International Advisory Board 12th Meeting

Canal Expansion This week marks the twelfth meeting of the Panama Canal Advisory Board. Traveling to Panama from all over the world, the Board members met to review and deliberate the study prepared by ACP on the proposed Canal expansion. The Advisory Board reviewed all facts pertaining to this historic undertaking, and believes that the results reflect a comprehensive and realistic appraisal of all issues involved. We commend the Canal leadership, the Country’s leadership, and the Panamanian people for the extraordinary work and professionalism that brings us to this momentous, sovereign decision by Panama. As Board members we consider it a privilege to share our thoughts with you. As evidenced by the signatures below, the Advisory Board unanimously believes Canal expansion with a third set of locks should be viewed as a matter of high priority for Panama, as the Canal today is almost at full capacity. World trade is growing at a substantial pace. The forecasted demand growth is realistic, but its benefit to Panama will only be captured if it proceeds with the Canal expansion as soon as practically possible. The associated costs will be paid over a reasonable period of time by the Canal users, leaving no residual debt to Panama or the Panamanian people.
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26 Companies Bidding to Build Megaport

Canal Expansion A total of 26 companies have acquired the documents necessary to participate in the bidding to build and operate the "megaport" project on the Pacific end of the Panama Canal. The Panamanian Maritime Administration (AMP) has called a meeting for next Tuesday, 23 May, with representatives of the companies that will be participating in the bidding process. The harbor project will be developed within a land area measuring 1,114 hectares and will be built in three phases. First stage will consist of the construction of a total of 1,600 meters of linear wharf area, with a depth of 16.75 meters and capacity to handle Post Panamax ships.
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Panama unveils plan to double the Canal’s capacity

Canal Expansion The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is recommending the building of a new lane along the Panama Canal that would double capacity at an estimated cost of 5.25 billion US dollars. The ACP says the expansion “will be paid entirely by users of the canal through a graduated toll system”. The recommendation was formally put to the Panamanian Government in a set piece last week and according to a public opinion poll published Sunday in the country’s main newspaper “La Prensa”, 57% of the population support the project. The authority said after several years of analyzing and reviewing hundreds of studies and projections, it is recommending the expansion of the Panama Canal. “Our vision is clear — this project will be for the benefit of the people of Panama and world trade. “Panama’s geographic location is its destiny — we aim to be at the centre of global trade and become a great maritime hub. The time is right and the time is now,” ACT CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta said.
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Torrijos Presents Canal Expansion Plan to Houston Port Authority

Canal Expansion HOUSTON - Panamanian President Martin Torríjos yesterday presented the proposal to expand the Panama Canal to James Edmonds, Chairman of the Port of Houston Authority. Also at the presentation were Alberto Alemán Zubieta, Administrator and CEO of the Panama Canal Authority and Thomas Kornegay, Executive Director of the Port of Houston Authority. The expansion of the Panama Canal would entail the creation of a new lane of traffic along the Canal through the construction of a new set of locks. Expansion would greatly benefit the Port of Houston, bringing an increase in traffic and helping to invigorate the Houston economy. The Port of Houston currently ranks first in the United States for foreign tonnage and as the sixth largest port in the world. "The benefits of a Canal expansion to the Port of Houston are many. It would allow for Houston to compete with East Coast ports, handling the same larger and wider vessels. And, it would help continue the Port's economic growth," said Thomas Kornegay, Executive Director of the Port of Houston Authority.
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More than an apple of discord

Canal Expansion BY NIDIA DIAZ: ON April 24, Martín Torrijos, president of Panama, announced the official proposal for the extension of the Canal, consisting of the construction of a third lock with a view to the so-called Panamax boats, superior in depth to the current Panamax, transiting that inter-ocean route. From that point and even long before, voices have been raised to renege on that decision, approval of which is to go before Parliament and a national referendum. Viability studies on the project were undertaken by the ACP (Panama Canal Authority) and its executive, while the president has made the green light conditional on – in the first place – the amplification being self-financing, meaning that the investment would have to be recouped from progressive increases in tolls and not via taxes on the population. In second place, he warned that the funding must be acquired by the ACP and not by the government, whose budget has to be allocated to the basic needs of Panamanians. And finally, a commitment not to create new reservoirs that would imply the uprooting of campesinos living in the area and far less new flooding that would destroy or damage the environment.
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Statesmen's Forum with Samuel Lewis Navarro, Vice President of Panama

Canal Expansion The Honorable Samuel Lewis Navarro, vice president and foreign affairs minister of Panama, will discuss the historical announcement of the expansion of the Panama Canal and its implications. He will address some of the key issues and concerns regarding this important project. If you would like to attend, please click on the link above for the formal invitation and send your RSVP by Wednesday, May 17. Date: May 19, 2006 Time: 9 - 10:30 a.m. Location: B1 Conference Center CSIS 1800 K Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1800 K Street, NW, Washington DC, 20006 | Tel: 202-887-0200 | Fax: 202-775-3199 http://www.csis.org/component/option,com_csis_events/task,view/id,978/
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