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Old October 24th, 2006, 04:24 PM   #21
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LONG Overdue!!

Have you guys ever visited the Canal? It is a working industry relic. The power plant that powers the operations is rusted and very anticuated.

These improvements are great for Panama as more investmenst will flood in.
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Old October 25th, 2006, 04:42 AM   #22
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Japan welcomes vote for Panama canal widening

TOKYO, Oct 24, 2006 (AFP) - Japan, the third major user of the Panama Canal, Tuesday welcomed the outcome of a referendum backing a plan to widen the transcontinental waterway to allow through the world's largest cargo vessels.

"Japan congratulates President Martin Torrijos on his announcement that the expansion plan for the Panama canal will be approved," the Japanese foreign ministry said in a statement.

"Japan will ask Panama that procurement processes for this project will be carried out in a transparent way and we will offer necessary assistance to Japanese firms with high technology and knowledge who want to participate in the project," the statement said.

In a weekend referendum, Panamanian voters overwhelmingly approved the 5.25-billion-dollar plan to widen and modernize the 92-year-old waterway between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

Only the United States and China are bigger users of the canal than Japan.
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Old October 25th, 2006, 03:03 PM   #23
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Panama Canal's largest-ever expansion isn't expected to displace nearby residents, officials say
24 October 2006

EL LIMON, Panama (AP) - Original construction of the Panama Canal is thought to have flooded 29 villages, displacing 50,000 people. But the largest modernization project in the 94-year history of the waterway, officials insist, won't force anyone to seek higher ground.

An eight-year, $5.25 billion expansion starting next year will double the canal's capacity. Deeper, three-step locks on the Atlantic and Pacific sides will accommodate container ships, cruise liners and tankers too large for the canal's present dimensions, planners say, while alleviating problems with traffic congestion.

But officials promise the project won't displace anyone.

"Not a single home will be affected," canal administrator Alberto Aleman has pledged, adding: "The project does not require any new dams, new reservoirs."

While the area immediately beside the canal is a high-security zone where no one is allowed to live, 186,000 people have homes on islands within the canal's wider expanses or on the banks of the surrounding basin. It's a 1.4 million-acre area including two lakes: Gatun, off the Atlantic Ocean, and Alhajuela, created by a dam farther to the north.

Ships are raised and lowered from the Pacific and Atlantic by a series of locks, plying the waters of Gatun Lake and the canal as they shuttle between the oceans. With each boat that passes through the locks, 55 million gallons of water is dumped out to sea.

A trio of water-saving basins will ensure the new locks reuse 60 percent of that water, replenishing the canal and helping to ensure that officials won't need to flood communities to generate the water lost if the locks dumped into the ocean.

Aleman says the extra water needed for the expansion will raise the banks of 160-square-mile Gatun Lake by only 18 inches, and even that will only occur once a year, at the end of the rainy season.

The original site of El Limon was flooded by the digging of the canal, but now the same town is perched on a hillside, with breathtaking views of the ink-blue waters.

Panama's environmental secretary sent representatives to towns throughout the canal zone to reassure residents. While few here seem worried enough about the canal expansion to sell their simple homes of cinderblock and concrete, some, like Jose Diaz, remain suspicious.

"No one is giving clear answers about what will happen. Why? Because they aren't sure," said 38-year old Diaz, who sits on a committee that helps resolve disputes in El Limon. "The government is thinking about making money, not all the implications."

Feliciano Medina, a 57-year-old member of the town council, gazed from El Limon's cemetery to the lake, about 25 yards below. "Look where the water is and where the cemetery is," he said. "If the water rises some, whoa, what a mess!"

President Theodore Roosevelt arranged for Panamanian independence from Colombia in 1903 so Americans could take over a failed French effort to forge a shortcut between the seas. Throughout the life of the canal, engineers have launched major excavation projects to widen and deepen key sections. The new plan is to be the biggest expansion.

Americans first began working on a new set of locks on the Atlantic side in the 1930s, but the project was abandoned after the outbreak of World War II. The new set of locks will be constructed on the same site.

Washington controlled the waterway from its opening in 1914 until Dec. 31, 1999, when it was ceded to Panama, which considers the waterway a crucial resource.

"If I have to move, I'll move," said Andres Luna, a 68-year-old retiree who built tugboats for the canal for 31 years, but has long since retired to a home in El Limon on Lake Gatun's banks. "This is Panama and the canal gets what it needs. The good of the country is more important than some houses."
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Old October 30th, 2006, 03:37 PM   #24
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INTERVIEW-Panama to unveil canal toll hikes

MIAMI, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Panama is expected to unveil next week its plans for increasing tolls on the Panama Canal to help pay for a $5.25 billion expansion of the world famous waterway, a senior government official said.

"It's a lot of money, it's about a third of the economy," said Ricaurte Vasquez, Panama's minister for canal affairs, referring to the cost of the project.

Panamanians overwhelmingly approved the plan in a referendum on Oct. 22 and the overhaul will allow their inter-oceanic canal to handle mammoth modern cargo ships.

Vasquez, a former finance minister who also chairs the state-owned Panama Canal Authority that administers the canal, spoke in an interview with Reuters during a visit to Miami late on Friday.

Panama has already put canal customers on notice that it would like to double canal tolls over the next 20 years to finance the expansion, Vasquez said.

He said it had never been made clear how soon the hikes on the U.S.-built "Big Ditch," which first opened in 1914, would be phased in, however.

Alberto Aleman, the canal authority's chief administrator, is set to outline Panama's new pricing policy in a speech in Shanghai next Thursday, Vasquez said.

U.S. vessels remain the biggest users of the canal, followed by Chinese and Japanese ships, according to the Panama Canal Authority.

Vasquez said Panama's possible need for external financing to overhaul the canal would depend on its toll revenues.

"The financial needs will be increased or reduced accordingly." he said.

In the interview, Vasquez said the canal's expansion -- the massive construction of a new set of locks should begin around December 2008 -- was expected to add as much as 2.5 percentage points to Panama's annual gross domestic product and help lift the country out of poverty.

"We dream about being the fastest-growing, the best country in Latin America," he said.

'GREAT OPPORTUNITY'

He acknowledged there were no guarantees about breaking Panama's "vicious cycle of poverty," however, and said the country would seek the help of the United Nations Development Program to help ensure its success.

"I think that this is a great opportunity," Vasquez said of the canal expansion and its potential effects on a troubled nation burdened with huge debts and a past mired in corruption.

"I need just to sit back and capture the moment," he added.

He envisions huge companies like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. setting up large distribution centers in Panama, thanks to the canal expansion, and said business opportunities would abound once construction work gets under way.

Bidding for contracts linked to the canal expansion was expected to open by December 2008, Vasquez said, adding that concessions would be awarded about six months later.

A restaurateur selling nothing but lemonade and Panamanian-style meat pies to construction crews on the canal could make $6 million over the eight years it will take to complete its biggest-ever overhaul, Vasquez said.

"This is serious construction," he said.
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Old December 12th, 2006, 03:36 AM   #25
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Miyahara of NYK Line to be Panama canal adviser

PANAMA CITY, Dec 11, 2006 (AFP) - The president of the Japanese shipping giant NYK Line has been chosen to sit on an advisory board to the Panama Canal Authority amid plans for a major expansion of the canal, the authority said Monday.

Koji Miyahara has headed Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha since 2004 and brings more than 30 years experience in maritime shipping to the board, the canal authority said.

Panamanian voters recently approved a five-billion-dollar upgrade to build a third set of locks for the 92-year-old canal, to accept the largest ships in the world.

Miyahara, a lawyer, will give the canal a more international profile, the authority said.

The authority established the advisory board in 1999 to provide recommendations and guidance to the Canal Administration Board of Directors.
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Old February 7th, 2007, 03:09 AM   #26
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Panama Canal toll hike won't slow traffic flow

NEW YORK, Feb 5 (Reuters) - A planned tariff hike for all ships at Panama Canal is not expected to slow vessel traffic flow at the famous shortcut between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, some traders and ship owners said on Monday.

"With the high bunker fuel prices and strong time-charter rates for ships, it won't have an impact on the canal shipping flow," a trader said. "The alternatives are not viable."

The proposed 2007-2009 increases -- for container, grain,
oil and passenger ships alike -- are needed in part to pay for

the canal's scheduled $5.25 billion expansion plan to allow it to handle larger modern cargo ships and boost government revenue.

The Panama Canal Authority, or ACP, is to open talks with shippers and countries that use the canal before announcing final tariffs for the next three years.

Some alternatives to the canal could be exporting more grain cargoes from the U.S. Pacific Northwest and less from the U.S. Gulf Coast, or sailing a much longer voyage around Cape Horn in the southern part of South America, traders said.

The voyage from the U.S. Gulf to Asia via the Panama Canal would take about 32 days, compared with 39 days for sailing around Cape Horn.

However, one ship broker pointed out that the sailing time could be almost the same despite the shortcut through Panama.

"There is usually an average delay of about three days for vessel transits at the canal," he said.

The delay for Panamax ships could be as long as 7 to 10 days during the peak seasons or maintenance periods.

But much less bunker fuel is needed as a ship sailing from New York to San Francisco via the canal travels about 6,000 miles (9,600 kilometres), less than half the 14,000 mile route around Cape Horn.

A U.S.-based dry bulk ship owner said that an increase in canal tolls was a business cost, and it would most likely not affect the traffic volume of traffic.

"Charterers and owners will battle over who gets the ultimate expense of the increase," he said.

The planned toll hike should the most impact on shipping rates in the container industry as container ships lead all vessel segments in the number of transits, volume and revenue at the canal, according to ACP.

Some container ship owners expected more and bigger container ships to sail to the U.S. East Coast from Asia after the completion of the canal expansion plan.

(Additional reporting by Lisa Haarlander in Chicago)
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Old July 19th, 2007, 06:10 AM   #27
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Spanish PM tours Panama Canal, stresses trade links with Latin America
17 July 2007

PANAMA CITY, Panama (AP) - Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero toured the Panama Canal and met with Panamanian President Martin Torrijos on his first official visit to this Central American nation.

Zapatero was briefed Tuesday on Panama's ambitious, US$5.25 billion (euro3.84 billion) plan to expand the waterway to handle modern container ships, cruise liners and tankers that are too large for its current 108-foot-wide (33-meter-wide) locks.

Zapatero has stressed trade links with Latin America during his four-day visit to Mexico and Panama. He was accompanied by a group of Spanish businessmen interested in projects related to the canal, shipping and power generation.
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Old August 6th, 2007, 03:25 AM   #28
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Panama ports post 45.1 percent increase in traffic

PANAMA CITY, August 2 (Reuters) - Panama's Maritime Authority on Thursday reported a 45.1 percent increase in container traffic during the first six months of the year compared with the same period in 2006.

The authority said container traffic between January and June 2007 for all of the country's ports, including those at either end of the Panama Canal stood at 1,881,317 20-foot equivalent units, or TEU, up from 1,296,967 TEU in the first half of 2006.

At one end of the canal, Balboa -- a Pacific port run by Hutchison Port Holdings, part of Hutchison Whampoa Limited -- posted a 114.2 percent increase in traffic amid ongoing expansion projects.

In the first half of 2007, Balboa handled 863,331 TEU, compared to 403,131 TEU in the same period last year.

Plans are underway to make Balboa the biggest port in Latin America by 2010. Work already has been done to upgrade facilities so the port can handle post-Panamax vessels.

Manzanillo International Terminal S.A., located on the Atlantic entrance to the Canal, which was Panama's busiest port in the first six months of 2006, saw a 7.9 percent reduction in traffic, down to 577,271 TEU from 626,663 TEU.
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Old August 7th, 2007, 10:43 AM   #29
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Panama Canal transit times fall by 37 percent

PANAMA CITY, Aug 6 (Reuters) - The average time it took a ship to transit the Panama Canal between April and June fell by 37 percent from a year earlier as authorities moved to ease passage through the congested waterway, Panama said on Monday.

The Panama Canal Authority said the average Canal Waters Time -- the measurement used for the time vessels spend in the canal and its entrances -- fell to 24.5 hours from 38.90 hours in the same period of 2006.

As the 50-mile (80-km) waterway between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans reaches capacity, canal authorities are eager to reduce crossing times to get more vessels through, and prevent long, costly queues for shippers.

The canal authority said improved operational systems were the reason for the drop in average passage time.

"For the second consecutive quarter, we have seen a significant reduction in total canal transit time," Manuel Benitez, the canal's vice president of operations, said.

A total of 3,727 vessels transited the canal in the second quarter of this year, a similar number to the same period last year.

Work is scheduled to begin at the end of this month on a multibillion-dollar expansion project to reduce congestion. The project is scheduled to be completed in time for the 100th anniversary of the U.S.-built canal in 2014.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 06:47 PM   #30
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Panama says canal expansion to begin on Sept. 3

PANAMA CITY, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Panama said on Tuesday it will kick off the expansion of its famous canal on Sept. 3, marking the beginning of an ambitious project to double the capacity of the waterway.

The 93-year-old Panama canal, which handles 5 percent of world trade, is a 50-mile (80-km) waterway between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans.

Panama said the first excavations will begin at Paraiso, a town close to the Pacific entrance of the canal, as part of a $5.2 billion expansion project seeking to reduce congestion.

Once the project is completed, the canal will be able to accommodate larger ships through a third set of locks.

Vessels currently spend slightly over 24 hours to transit the canal. Demand is so high that passage rights are regularly auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Panama plans to launch the expansion with a ceremony led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who in 1977 agreed to cede control over the canal to Panama for the first time.

Since its opening in 1914, the United States had controlled the canal and a thin strip of land on either side - dotted with military bases and towns custom-built for U.S. civilians.

Under the agreement with the United States, Panama took control for the canal in 1999.

The first phase of the expansion is expected to be done by March 2010. The entire project should be ready for the canal's centennial in 2014.
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Old November 15th, 2007, 04:50 PM   #31
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Slim-led group bids lowest in Panama Canal contract

PANAMA CITY, Nov 14 (Reuters) - A consortium led by Mexican billionaire tycoon Carlos Slim posted the cheapest bid on Wednesday to win the latest small contract to expand the Panama Canal, part of the wider $5.25 billion project.

The consortium beat out competitors from Colombia and the United States, as well as Mexican construction firm ICA , with a bid of $25.5 million for the excavation of 7.5 million cubic meters of earth, the Panama Canal Authority said.

The awarding of the contract to the consortium -- called Consorcio Cilsa Minera Maria and registered in Panama and Mexico -- depends on its paperwork being in order. There were seven other bidders.

The contract is the second, and one of the smallest, of five dredging contracts that the Panama Canal Authority has planned in its effort to double the capacity of the canal by 2014.

It is the first contract won by one of Slim's firms, which have also expressed interest in bigger projects yet to be awarded, including the construction of a third set of locks.

The canal's administrator, Alberto Aleman Zubieta, said on Wednesday that firms have until Thursday to submit paperwork if they want to take part in that project, estimated to be worth more that $2 billion.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 04:31 PM   #32
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new locks are too small

The new locks as suggested will have the following dimensions:

length: 427 m (1400 ft)
width: 55 m (180 ft)
depth: 18.3 m (60 ft)

compared to the old lock dimensions of:

(usable) length: 304.8 m (1000 ft)
width: 33.53 m (110 ft)
depth: 12.55 m (41.2 ft)

The new locks are not large enough! Remember that when the original canal was finished in 1914, there were no ships too large for it. Although uncommon, there are already ships too large for the locks that will serve the canal for the next 90 years. Who knows how large ships will be in 30 years time. I therefore suggest the following dimensions for the new locks:

length: 610 m (2000 ft)
width: 70 m (230 ft)
depth: 25 m (82 ft)

This is large enough for ships 30 or 60 years from now. It also allows four of the present panamax ships to fit inside the lock at one time and may also allow large freight catamarans or aircraft carriers to fit.

The rest of the canal does not necessarily have to be expanded to the new dimensions immediately. It is possible to increase depth and width by a few metres at a time, as required.

Some would argue that such large locks are unfeasible for environmental or technical reasons. I list the objections and describe my suggested technical solution to eliminate these problems:

Objection 1) Such large locks will use too much water. Gatun is already suffering from low water levels seasonally.

2) Gatun lake will become contaminated with salt water from these larger locks. This is already a concern.

Instead of the suggested triple locks with water-saving storage basins, valves and gravity-powered water movement I would like to see double locks without storage basins and with pumps that also function as turbines. These pumps/turbines will pump water from the lower chamber to the higher one (requiring electricity) or let water from the higher chamber to the lower (generating electrical power in the process) alternately. Pacific and Atlantic lock systems will be synchronised so that as one consumes electricity, the other one produces it. This system minimises total power usage and maximum effect. The pumping process is extremely water efficient, in theory no water at all is wasted, in practise there is some loss due to seepage and water level variations.

To avoid Gatun lake becoming contaminated with salt water, two complementary solutions are required. One is to replace some power production at Gatun dam with power generated at the two lock systems, giving a slight current towards either end of the canal. The other solution to the problem of salt water contamination is to have the canal be especially deep in the sections immediately adjacent to the lock systems. Since salt water is heavier than fresh water, this deep water will be saltier than other parts of the resevoir. Water from these parts of the resevoir will be used for power generation.

My variant is slightly more expensive than the one presently favored. However, it will have lower operating costs, greater capacity, longer life and be better for the environment.

Any input to my suggestion is welcome.
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Old December 15th, 2007, 06:29 PM   #33
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Four consortiums compete to build new Panama Canal ship locks

PANAMA CITY, Dec 14, 2007 (AFP) - Panama will take bids from four international consortiums seeking to build new, larger ship locks for the Panama Canal, government officials said Friday.

The locks are a key part of the 5.25 billion-dollar canal expansion project begun in September, aimed at doubling the capacity of the 50-mile (80-kilometer) canal connecting two oceans.

Panamanian officials hope the project will be finished by 2014.

The four consortiums now have until August 2008 to present final proposals and price tags to compete for the contract, said Alberto Aleman, head of the Panama Canal Authority.

The bidders are:

- The CANAL consortium, which includes the Spanish companies ACS Servicios, Acciona Infraestructuras and Sner Engineering of Spain, as well as the Germany-based Hochtief Construction, ICA of Mexico and Royal Haskoning of the Netherlands.

- Atlantic-Pacific of Panama, which includes Bouygues Construction, VINCI Construction and Alstom of France, Bilfinger Berger of Germany, the US-based AECOM, and four Brazilian companies.

- A consortium that includes the US-based Bechtel, and Taisei and Mitsubishi corporations of Japan.

- The fourth group, "United Group for the Canal," includes Panama's Constructora Urbana, US-based companies Tetra Tech, Montgomery Watson Harza and Heerema Group, and companies from the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Belgium.

The canal was built 1904-1914 by the United States, which handed control over to Panama in December 1999.

The largest ships that now use the canal carry up to 5,000 containers, but after the expansion supertankers and ships carrying as many as 12,000 containers will be able to sail the canal.

Some 14,000 ships, comprising about five percent of annual world commerce, pass through the Central American shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, avoiding the arduous and costly journey around Cape Horn, at the southern tip of South America.

About 80 percent of Panama's economy is linked to canal activity, amounting to some six billion dollars, or 80 percent of Panama's gross domestic product.

The waterway's main users are the United States, China and Japan.

The government says work would be financed by a hike in tolls, worth 1.2 billion dollars in 2005.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 10:14 AM   #34
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DIAGRAMS!!!!!!!!!!
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Old January 6th, 2008, 07:03 AM   #35
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help is talk military U.S. , here is aircraft carrier ......
buy is panama canal future projet...... diagrama "1,092 ft (333 m)"


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Old February 21st, 2008, 05:07 AM   #36
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Panama Canal Authority sees revenue growth in 2008

PANAMA CITY, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Revenue from Panama Canal transit fees are expected to increase by about 10 percent in 2008, despite likely slower growth in world trade, the Panama Canal Authority said on Tuesday.

Toll revenues should reach $1.30 billion this year, compared with $1.18 billion in 2007, Authority analyst Rodolfo Sabonage said at an event.

Many of the gains are expected to come from increased transit fees. In January, the Authority reported that toll revenue had increased in the previous three months by about 8 percent to $300 million, despite a drop in transits resulting from high oil prices and slower growth in U.S. demand.

The Panama Canal accounts for about 20 percent of Panamanian gross domestic product and its toll revenue accounts for a sizable chunk of the national budget.
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 02:45 AM   #37
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any pictures of panama canal to be posted in this tread, please?
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Old June 25th, 2008, 09:14 AM   #38
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Panama Canal revenues seen rising 19 pct

PANAMA CITY, June 20 (Reuters) - Panama expects income from the Panama Canal to increase 19 percent over the next fiscal year to $2.1 billion, according to figures approved by legislators on Friday.

The figures, which will form part of the 2009 budget, would allow transfers to the Panamanian government to rise next year to $748 million, up 13 percent from the previous fiscal period. The figures were presented by the Panama Canal Authority.

Much of the increased income will come from a rise in toll revenue, which is expected to swell to $1.45 billion from $1.18 billion in the 2007-08 period as a result of higher prices paid by shipping firms and continued high volumes of traffic.

Lawmakers on Friday approved the canal's operating budget for 2008-09, which includes $152 million for canal improvements and $765 million for work to expand the increasingly choked waterway -- part of a $5.25 billion project to double its capacity.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 03:30 AM   #39
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IADB agrees terms of $400 mln loan for Panama Canal

WASHINGTON, Sept 17 (Reuters) - The Inter-American Development Bank said on Wednesday it had agreed in principle on the terms for a nonsovereign guarantee loan of up to $400 million for the expansion of the Panama Canal.

The proposal will be considered by the IADB board in early October, the head of the Washington-based regional bank, Luis Alberto Moreno, said in a statement.

The proposed terms were fleshed out in a meeting between Moreno and Panama's President Martin Torrijos on Wednesday.

"The IADB could not be absent from the biggest infrastructure project in our region, a venture that will undoubtedly increase our competitiveness on a global scale," Moreno added.

The $5.25 billion expansion plan for the canal will allow larger vessels to use the waterway without interfering with normal operations, the IADB said.
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Old October 18th, 2008, 01:30 AM   #40
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Does anybody know what are the actual state of the works at the Panama Canal (if are there any already)?
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