Wrapping up its fifteenth meeting in Panama, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Board of Directors briefed the ACP Advisory Board on expansion progress. During the meeting, held in Panama February 11-12, Board members convened to discuss strategy and trends in the shipping industry.
ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta briefed the Advisory Board – composed of global business, maritime and trade experts – on issues regarding Canal operations and the waterway’s historic expansion project. The meeting was jointly presided over by Panamanian Minister for Canal Affairs and ACP Board of Directors Chairman Dani Ariel Kuzniecky and Advisory Board Chairman and former Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization William A. O’Neil.
Alemán updated the Advisory Board on expansion and sought their counsel and feedback. In particular, he highlighted that the ACP released its request for proposal on the “design-build” contract for the new locks in December. Four global consortia are now moving forward with their bids on what will be the largest and most important project under the $5.25 billion expansion. Proposals are due in the third quarter of this year.
Alemán briefed the Board on expansion financing potential options. Meeting participants also visited the construction work sites where the new access channel to the Pacific locks will be built. Expansion will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, doubling capacity and allowing more traffic and longer, wider ships. Outside of expansion, the Board received an overall update on Canal operations and finance.