Panama government out in force as PSA starts terminal expansion

JOC Staff | May 28, 2015, 1:20 AM EDT

PSA Panama International Terminal (PSA Panama) broke ground today to start the expansion works for Phase 2 of its container terminal on the west bank of the Panama Canal.

At a ceremony to launch the expansion, Panama President Juan Carlos Varela said the upgraded terminals would be able to accommodate the world’s ultra large container ships.

“When the expansion of the container terminal ends, our country will have state of the art facilities to serve container ships with a capacity of 18,000 TEUs,” he said.

In addition to the president, several other high-ranking Panamanian government officials were present at the ceremony. Jorge Barakat, administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) and concurrently Minister of Maritime Affairs, Jorge Quijano, administrator of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), and key members of the government, PSA management, customers, partners and stakeholders were in attendance.

Tan Chong Meng, group CEO for PSA International, said his company was committed to developing Panama into a regional hub.

“We will develop PSA Panama International Terminal into a world-class facility that can support the growing container traffic as the Panama Canal expands, and contribute to the development of the local economy and growth in employment,” he said.

The terminal expansion, which was approved by the national assembly, ACP, AMP and the Panamanian state earlier, is targeted to be completed and the terminal made ready for operations before the end of 2016, in conjunction with the commercial opening of the expanded Panama Canal.

PSA Panama will have an annual handling capacity of 2 million TEUs upon completion and be equipped with 11 quay cranes with a maximum outreach of 24 rows, and over 680 yards of berth to serve the shipping lines that are expected to call at the port.