The group backing the planned Panamanian mega-port, which will be situated close to New Orleans and includes US Senator A.G. Crowe, is anticipating an opening date of late 2016 for the first phase of the project, according to The Advocate.
The development of the first phase of the mega-port will entail the development of a US$25 million dry-bulk terminal, as part of US$10 billion project which will take five years to complete.
The dry-bulk terminal is the first of five phases planned for the mega-port, its backers said during a news conference Monday in New Orleans.
Tom Thornhill, Project Co-Manager, said: “The response of the industry has been overwhelming. You’re going to see containers going from 4,000 on a ship to 12,000 to 13,000.
“What that means is the draft will be deeper and it will be even more of a challenge to the money coming in from the federal government to keep (dredging) the Southwest Pass even deeper.”
Thornhill also added that project has “multiple investors on the private side”.
The Panama Canal is still on schedule to be completed despite a recent scare after an enormous crack was discovered in the foundations of one of the canal’s new locks.
Once completed, the canal will be able to accommodate ships with drafts as deep as 15.24 metres below the water’s surface.