Panama Canal board gives green light to 5 million-TEU terminal; project goes to national assembly.Development and construction of a transshipment port at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal was approved by the canal authority's board this week.
Located on a 296.5-acre site in Panama’s Corozal region, the terminal will be capable of handling more than 5 million TEUs when finished. The project now awaits approval by Panama’s National Assembly.
Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said the project is an example of its ongoing "commitment to develop new products, enhancing customer service and furthering Panama’s position as the logistics and maritime hub of the Americas."
The project will be built in two phases and include a 2,081-linear-meter dock, a container yard, offices and warehouses on land the canal authority owns.
The project’s first phase will include 1,350 linear meters of docks capable of accommodating three post-panamax containerships, and have a capacity to handle about 3 million TEUs. With a 6.3-meter-deep access canal and a depth of 18 meters along the dock, the new facility will eventually provide facilities to accommodate five post-panamax ships.
Currently, terminals on the Pacific side of Panama are able to handle about 5 million TEUs, but demand for container handling is projected to grow to six million after the canal's new locks open and increase to 8 million TEUs by 2020.
The National Assembly is expected to review the bill in the coming days.
If approved, ACP will move forward with the development and tender process. The project is expected to create hundreds of jobs. ACP will issue a call for bids to hire a company that will be responsible for all stages of the project. The contract will, most likely, consist of a 20-year concession, renewable once for 20 years.
“Advancing the terminal in the Corozal region is a priority. It is part of the Panama Canal’s goal to explore and develop areas, products and services that are close to our core business, and that add substantial value to our customers as a one-stop gateway with multiple services,” said Panama Canal Administrator and Chief Executive Officer Jorge Luis Quijano in a statement.
“This new facility will result in a significant increase in inter-oceanic cargo traffic, enabling the canal to add value to the route and customers, consolidate Panama’s position as an international logistics and maritime hub,” he added.