Weekly News Briefs

CANAL’S 97th BIRTHDAY

With over one million ship transits and contributions to the State in excess of $6 billion, in 12 years of Panamanian administration the Panama Canal has reached 97 years of operations. Just three years before it reaches a century of continuous operation, its expansion has been 28% completed. The works will be finished in 2014.

CANAL BOSS SPEAKS OUT

“The law should not be touched. I think the law is clear and everyone has an established period, and I’m sure as the guard is replaced, people will be able to replace me.” In this way, the administrator of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), Alberto Aleman Zubieta, spoke about the possibility of reforming the Organic Law of the ACP for the administrator to remain longer in office. While the opposition Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD) leadership is concerned that the administrator of the Panama Canal Authority, Alberto Aleman Zubieta, is unwilling to remain in office beyond 2012, government leaders say that we must respect his decision.

MORE PORTS EXPECTED

According to scholars of logistics and shipping, after the Panama Canal expansion, the chances of new ports in the country increases. Recently, the Panama Maritime Authority, through its deputy administrator, Jorge Pitty Barakat, confirmed that PSA and Singapore Ports Authority would enter on the Pacific coast as a new company in the business accompanying Panama Ports Company on that side of the country.

DESIGNING NEW BRIDGE

In nine months, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) expects to have the design of the third bridge to be constructed over the waterway on the Atlantic coast. The structure will have a height of 75 meters above sea level and will rise near the new set of locks to be built in the province of Colon.

DELAY AT NEW LOCKS

The executive vice-president of business expansion of the Panama Canal, Jorge Quijano, said the company contractor responsible for concrete pouring in the new locks has a delay that could extend the time of delivery, and this work may not be completed in the estimated time.

US MARKET DECLINE

Panama is directing itself towards other markets. The devaluation of the US dollar has caused exports to the country’s largest trading partner to record a low for several million dollars in recent years. In 2008, exports to the colossus of the north were $434.8 million and in 2010 this figure dropped by almost half, falling to $211.4 million, according to figures from the Comptroller’s Office.

CLEAN POWER SOUGHT

Within the next four years the Panamanian private sector will be developing three clean power generation projects and the renewable goal of implementation envisages an investment of over $620 million. Between $600 million and $1,000 million is being invested in the domestic energy market to meet demand in the future, sector authorities estimated in reply to criticism from businessmen, who warn of obstacles for new businesses. Energy Secretary, Juan Manuel Urriola, clarified that a project will be opened to bid in October for wind power for $360 million, which will come into operation in mid-2013 with a capacity of 200 megawatts (MW).

WATER STUDIES

A series of studies of watersheds and drinking water in Panama is currently underway and will be the basis to understand the current situation of water resources of the country, said a researcher at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Stanley Heckadon, during a workshop on the topic.

CHEAPER FOOD

The nine food chains proposed by the authorities to reduce the price of food could be established in November this year. However, the low financing becomes the stumbling block.

NEW JET STRIP

The administration of Tocumen, SA is managing the construction of a terminal for private planes or jets in the air terminal of Howard. The 300 private jets that land and take off monthly from Tocumen International Airport will also be able to use Howard.

WATCH AT AIRPORT

The Tocumen International Airport will be equipped by the end of the year with two electronic systems that seek to stop illegal activities including money laundering and drug trafficking. This month the phase began to install wiring throughout the terminal for facial recognition cameras.

PANAMA CHOSEN

The US firm Dayton Superior will use Panama as a distribution center for products for the construction industry in the countries of Latin America. The company was established last month in South Park, located near the International Airport of Tocumen.

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