Panama Canal Reveals New Plans

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The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has revealed plans for new projects after commemorating the one-year anniversary of its expanded canal.

ACP will continue developing the waterway with a roll-on roll-off (RoRo) terminal, serving as a center for the redistribution of vehicles, machinery and heavy equipment, in addition to building a 1,200-hectares logistics park.

The authority has also found room to develop an LNG terminal on the Atlantic side of the waterway to provide LNG bunkering and redistribution capabilities.

Despite the recent news that the Panama Canal Authority has voided the initial tender to operate a container terminal in West Corozal, the authority stated in its announcement that it will “continue to advance plans” for the Corozal Container Terminal.

Technical Paper: The Panama Canal Expansion: Completion is Finally Upon Us

During the one-year anniversary, the vessels that transited the Expanded Canal received commemorative plaques.

The honoured vessels included Albert III, a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessel, chartered by Petredec Services Limited; Ever Loading, an 8,500-plus TEU capacity Neopanamax containership, owned by Evergreen; Valparaiso Express, a 13,000+ TEU capacity Neopanamax containership, owned by Hapag Lloyd; Yuhsho, a LPG vessel, chartered by ENEOS GLOBE Corporation; and CMA CGM Melisande, an 8,700-plus TEU capacity Neopanamax containership, owned by CMA CGM.

A total of 15 out of 29 liner services that use the Panama Canal now employ Neopanamax vessels to take advantage of the economies of scale.

This has led to more than 1,500 Neopanamax vessels transitting the expanded canal.

Containerships represent approximately 51.3% of traffic, followed by LPG and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, which represent approximately 31.5% and 9.1%.

Panama Canal tonnage has also increased by 22.2%, when comparing the 2016 and 2017 fiscal year.

Jorge L. Quijano, Panama Canal Administrator, said: “Today's milestone provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the Canal's strong performance to-date and the industry's wide-spread adoption of the waterway.

“Looking forward, the next decade will serve as a significant next chapter in the Panama Canal's story as we continue to advance various infrastructure projects within the region to further position Panama as the logistics hub of the Americas-for the benefit of our customers, and for the people of Panama.”

The 13,926 TEU Neopanamax containership OOCL France recently broke the record for the largest capacity vessel to transit the Panama Canal less than a month after the previous record was set.

Video credit: New China TV

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