Author Topic: PANAMA CANAL NEWS  (Read 23812 times)

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Cape Cod 13

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2010, 05:46:32 AM »
Cruise ship port for Amador prospects .
Monday, 29 November 2010 15:25    .

Plans to construct a cruise ship port in Amador, Panama, will take a step forward this week when Panama maritime executives meet with Miami port and cruise line officials.

 Maritime Authority of Panama Administrator Roberto Linares and Panama Canal Administrator Alberto Alemán Zubieta will travel to Miami for two days of meetings with Miami Port director Bill Johnson, and Michele Paige, of Carnival Cruise Lines.
The project to build a cruise ship port in Amador has raised expectations in the cruise tourism industry, and will complement a similar facility in Colon.
“Our aim is to inform entrepreneurs and investors about the scope of this project," said Linares.

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2010, 06:10:05 AM »
Panama Canal widening leading to internecine warfare in U.S. ports .
Sunday, 12 December 2010 07:41    .

The $5.25 billion being spent on widening of the Panama Canal is only the beginning of expenditures in the rush to accommodate giant container ships.

Billions more dollars will be spent in the United States, as ports rush to expand facilities to receive the post-panamax ships passing through when the expansion is completed in 2014, one hundred years after it first opened.
Panama has been hosting delegations or port authorities and logistics experts from New York to Miami, including Savannah, and Atlanta, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina; and Jacksonville Florida.
The widening will lead to the biggest shift in the freight business since the 1950s, when ships first started using giant containers of equal size.
Some of the ships known as post-Panamax can carry three times as many containers as the largest ships currently making the 48 mile transit.
The widening will also allow the U.S. Navy to transit some of its super sized aircraft carriers that currently have to make the long haul around the cape.
The expansion will enable products made in Asia to be sent directly to the East Coast instead of being unloaded on the West Coast and then sent east by train or truck.
A result could be a shift in business worth billions of dollars to ports, and big savings for companies like Ikea, Home Depot and Wal-Mart, always on the hunt for more efficient ways to serve shoppers in the Eastern third of the United States, where a majority of the U.S. population lives.
To capture some of the new traffic, almost every large East Coast port and those along the Gulf of Mexico have projects under way. Some ports that are too small to handle the giant ships are improving railroads and truck routes, making them more efficient in anticipation of an overall increase in the number of containers coming to the East says the New York Times.
Others want to dig deeper channels and become the leading port in their regions for companies operating the big vessels.
Containers have become the name of the game in shipping says a lead article. Although cruise ships and imports and exports of cars, oil and bulk agricultural loads like cotton and fertilizer still make up a good portion of port traffic, most of the growth is in containers filled with products that Americans like to buy.
The newest, biggest ships can carry the equivalent of as many as 15,000 containers that are 20 feet long. But they are also heavier, wider and require deeper water. In Savannah, for example, the water is only 42 feet deep. That is enough, with tidal variations, to handle ships loaded with 5,500 containers.
The port at Norfolk, Va., is 50 feet deep, and is the only one on the East Coast that can handle the biggest, fully loaded container ships.
The navigation channel that feeds the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal in New Jersey is deep enough, but the Bayonne Bridge is not tall enough for the new container ships to pass under.
Officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are studying options. They might raise the bridge by 64 feet. A study estimated the cost at $1.3 billion.
As Savannah port officials are learning, digging up six feet of mud is not easy or cheap. Environmentalists are concerned that dredging will cause historic Savannah buildings along the shore to tumble into the water, suck sand from the shores of Tybee Island and ruin freshwater marshes.
The Corps of Engineers’ environmental impact document, issued after a 14 yearstudy, suggested deepening but not widening the channel to protect the buildings along the shore and adding 3,000 acres of wildlife preservation land to help offset the impact on freshwater marshes.

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2010, 06:10:05 AM »

Chris in Inuvik

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2010, 07:36:22 PM »
Thanks for posting that. It really hadn't hit me all the changes that would be required once the Canal was widened.
Very interesting.

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Cape Cod 13

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2010, 06:37:43 AM »
Closing of Centennial Bridge another headache for commuters .
Saturday, 18 December 2010 08:27    .

The only way in and out .With the Christmas traffic rush moving to a peak,the clock has moved back for motorists traveling to and from the Interior west of Panama city.


The Centennial Bridge has been closed to all traffic to allow repairs to the access road that collapsed on Dec. 7 during the recent heavy rains. The stability of the access roads has been a problem since they were completed.

The bridge had been open on a limited basis, but the the Ministry of Public Works (MOP)decided on a complete shut down so heavy equipment needed for repairs can be moved to the site.
 All traffic crossing the Panama Canal to and from Panama City, will have to use the Bridge of the Americas.

To help ease traffic flow the MOP has said overweight vehicles will not be allowed on the Bridge of the Americas inbound from 5:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. and leaving the city from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

But commuters are  still advised to allow lots more time before heading in or out.

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« Last Edit: December 19, 2010, 09:03:11 AM by Cape Cod 13 »

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2010, 05:26:42 AM »
Panama’s VP forecast disaster for Canal expansion .
Sunday, 19 December 2010 17:24    .

David Gilmour, former No 2 at US Embassy, Ricardo Martinelli , Barbara Stephenson, Juan Carlos Varela .Panama’s Vice President Juan Carlos Varela called the Panama Canal expansion a “disaster” " during a luncheon with Ambassador Barbara Stephenson in December 2009.


The statement  came  after a group led by Spain’s Sacyr Vallehermoso SA won a $3.1 billion contract to widen the canal to allow larger ships, a confidential U.S. diplomatic cable said.

The cable, released by WikiLeaks and published  in Madrid’s El Pais newspaper, said that Varela expressed concerns that Sacyr was in “deep financial trouble” and might  not be able to complete the work.

“The Canal expansion project is a disaster,” the cable cited Varela as saying at a lunch with U.S. Ambassador Barbara Stephenson on Dec. 29, 2009. “In two to three years, it will be obvious this is all a failure.”

The ambassador’s office had “provided relentless advocacy” for Bechtel Group Inc., the largest U.S. engineering company, in its failed bid to win the largest contract for the $5.25 billion canal expansion, according to the cable.

Sacyr is working with Italy’s Impregilo SpA to build a third set of locks that will allow bigger ships to traverse the canal by 2014. The contract was awarded in July 2009.

The El Pais article had no response from Sacyr on the cables. In August, the company called the canal bidding process “exemplary,” according to the El Pais story.

Calls and e- mails by Bloomberg News seeking comment from Sacyr and Varela’s offices outside of business hours weren’t returned.

The Panama Canal Authority, in an e-mailed response to the article, said as the waterway’s operator it “shields” itself from any outside pressure.

A January 2010 cable noted that Some days later, Varela repeated his concerns during a conversation with Congressman Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico. According to the cable, Varela said the Spanish consortium was "very weak" and that he had "genuine concerns" about its ability to execute.

The cable also indicates that Varela said to the embassy's number two: "One does not mess with something as important as the Canal. When a bidder makes an offer that is a thousand million dollars below the next competitor, then something is seriously wrong. Of course I have the best hope, but I fear that Alberto [Aleman] has made a big mistake. "
Varela was also concerned by the fact that they were looking for Spanish companies to participate in the construction of the Panama Metro.
Later, Ambassador Stephenson asked the president, Ricardo Martinelli, on the progress of the canal project.
The answer? "Martinelli made a face and seemed to be a little worried. He said he feared the Aleman administrator may have tilted the contest to the consortium including CUSA, directed by his cousin. "
Stephenson sent a cable to the State and Commerce departments, alerting them that Varela and Martinelli were making such statements in the presence of congressmen who visited Panama. But she added two significant findings: One, that Varela's presidential aspirations were "sensitive" to the possibility that the canal expansion would result in failure. And two, the U.S. embassy has always considered that the Alemanmanager is a "highly capable manager and unimpeachable integrity."

This cable and others reveal that the U.S. Embassy in Panama did what Stephenson had branded in others   as "ruthless lobbying" for the consortium led by U.S. company Bechtel tro get  the contract to build a third set of locks. The embassy believed that if Bechtel won, it would mean f the United States selling over a billion dollars in materials and equipment.

Therefore, the embassy was pleased to win the consortium led by Sacyr, a Spanish company offered a price far below the other two competitors. The embassy had "strong suspicions" that the price was possible because the company was receiving a grant from the Spanish government. It was  also assumed that Sacyr  would renegotiate the price later.

Meanwhile, experts from the Inter American Development Bank estimated the total project cost at $5.9 billion(rather than the official estimate of $ 5.25 billion), while Bechtel estimated that the cost could reach $9.9 billion if the contractor assumed all risk . Bechtel considered challenging the tender, but finally decided not to.

The triumph of Sacyr "complicates our bilateral relationship to political and economic level," said the ambassador in one of her cables to Washington. The contract "is a sign of the growing Spanish influence in Panama, with the possible loss of opportunities for U.S. exports for the canal project "

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said it has shielded its management "from interference and pressures of any origin or nature, to ensure, the interests of the country and the state. "
It said the hiring process for the expansion of the Canal "ensures full transparency and broader competitiveness.”

 The government has so far , declined to comment on the statements by Martinelli and Varela. La Prensa reported that it had made numerous attempts to contact Varela who did not return calls.

 Sacyr The Spanish company declined to comment .

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2010, 08:14:00 AM »
Round the world sailing challenger aims for Panama by May .
Monday, 20 December 2010 08:16    .

A 15-year-old Dutch sailor, aiming to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world, will reach Panama in April or May.


 

Laura Dekker arrived in St Maarten on Sunday December 19 after completing the longest leg so far of her attempted circumnavigation of the globe, saying it felt "really weird" to be back on dry land after nearly three weeks on the ocean.

She was in good spirits after completing the 2,200 nautical-mile 4,074-kilometer) trip from the Cape Verde Islands off West Africa.
Dekker anchored Guppy, her 38-foot (11.5-meter) ketch, just outside Simpson Bay Lagoon after what she called "a very nice trip" so far.
The Dutch teenager started her trip from Gibraltar on Aug. 21 and spent two months in the Canary Islands waiting for the hurricane season to pass. She left the Cape Verde Islands on Dec. 2.
Dekker's venture stirred an intense debate about whether young people should be allowed to sail the world's oceans alone. A Dutch court originally blocked the voyage and only permitted her to set off after she took measures to manage the risks.
She bought a bigger, sturdier boat than the one she originally planned to use, fitted it with advanced navigation and radar equipment, and took courses in first aid and coping with sleep deprivation.
In the end, the Dutch court ruled that her preparations were adequate and it was up to her parents, who are divorced, to decide whether to let her make the attempt. Dekker was born on a boat off New Zealand while her parents were sailing around the world.
On a recent blog posting, Dekker said she "regularly wakes up after only one hour of sleep" and was looking forward to sleeping through the night while in St. Maarten.
On Sunday, she told the AP that she wasn't sure how long she would stay in St. She told Associated Press that “I just want to be in the Panama Canal in May, April,” Her circumnavigation attempt started two months after Abby Sunderland, a 16-year-old American, had to be rescued in a remote section of the Indian Ocean during an attempt to circle the globe. Earlier this year, Jessica Watson of Australia completed a 210-day voyage at age 16.
But while Watson remained at sea nonstop, Dekker plans to stop at dozens of ports and may even return home to catch up on her studies before resuming her trip.
If Dekker completes the voyage, any record she claims would be unofficial and likely to be challenged. Guinness World Records and the World Sailing Speed Record Council have decided they will no longer recognize records for "youngest" sailors to avoid encouraging dangerous attempts
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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2010, 06:39:17 AM »
Wikileaks exposures covered by smiles and handshakes .
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:02    .

Alberto Aleman Zubieta, .Four days after the Wikileaks revelations of President Ricardo Martinelli and Vice-president Juan Carlos Varela criticisms of the Panama Canal expansion. all was smiles and unanimity.


Martinelli, Minister for Canal Affairs Romulo Roux, and Canal administrator Alberto Aleman  Zubieta, Wednesday (December 22) hosted a tour of various points of the project, and Martinelli said the Government supports the $5.25 billion expansion

Martinelli statements come after last weekend’s revelation of confidential cables sent to Washington by former U.S. Ambassador to Panama Barbara Stephenson. The messages said Martinelli and Varela, criticized the Canal expansion in meetings with officials and U.S. congressmen and included statements like “The Canal expansion is a disaster” from Varela and suspicions that Aleman Zubieta had influenced the awarding of the initial contracts to a consortium involving a relative.

"We are here to give a boost to the work done so far by theCanal Administrator and his team. This is a work that will benefit the country and the rest of the world and so we support it, "said Martinelli.

Aleman Zubieta said that the early months of 2011 should see the start of pouring concrete for the new locks.

Aleman Zubieta said that to date the expansion had utilized some 10,000 on various projects, and is expected to employ another 7,000 2012 during the peak period of construction of the new locks.
 

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #37 on: December 24, 2010, 07:29:52 AM »
.Ho, Ho, Ho -- cheery news from Panama Canal authority .
Thursday, 23 December 2010 11:20    .

 .With an upcoming increase in transit charges and a projected climb in Canal traffic, the Panama Canal administrator Alberto Alemán Zubieta, has  good seasonal news for the country.


As the world slowly climbs out of the recession, transits through the Canal will increase slightly in 2011 he told media  on Wednesday, (December 22).

"The first quarter of the 2011 fiscal year, set to end on Dec. 31, has been very positive and has recorded nearly 4 million tons more than what expected," he said.

For the fiscal year, which runs from Sept. 30 2010 to Oct. 1, 2011, traffic is projected at 305 million tons of cargo, up from 300 million tons the previous year.

"We have seen a trade surge but we are still cautious, because there is a lot of turbulence in the world," said Alemán Zubieta while comparing the strength of Asian countries against the prevailing weakness in Europe and the United States.

Another  factor in the evolving recovering of the global economy is the "strong recovery" seen in the automobile industry, as well as soy, coal, and grain.

On Jan. 1, 2011, a toll increase – “acknowledged and understood by the shipping industry” – will come into force.

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #38 on: January 28, 2011, 12:00:21 PM »

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #39 on: February 10, 2011, 09:58:17 AM »
It's not the Canal, but interesting. C.C.13
Two earthquake tremors in Panama .
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 09:25    .

Two earthquake tremors were recorded in Panama during Tuesday night.

The first came at 10.10 in the evening and could be clearly felt in many condo towers The tremor was recorded at 4.2 on the Richter scale
A stronger tremor followed at 1.05 a.m. reaching 4.7 on the Richter scale.
Both tremors were felt on the Caribbean cost, but neither tremor caused injuries or damage.
The epicenter of the tremors,  at a depth of 33 kilometers was near Isla Grande, Colon Province, in the Panamanian Caribbean.


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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2011, 07:03:46 AM »
Two more bridges forecast for Panama Canal .
Friday, 11 February 2011 16:20    .

Bridge of the America's ..the first across the canal .Crossing the Panama Canal will be easier in the future if the wishes of President of the Ricardo Martinelli are fulfilled.


He announced on Friday that he will promote the construction of a fourth bridge over the Canal to accommodate the growth of the country's traffic, particularly in the capital.

Martinelli said mentioned that, a tender will be called. The fourth bridge will connect the Amador areas with Howard said Martinelli without going into details. The third bridge will be in Colon.

Public Works Minister Federico José Suárez, says studies for the construction of a fourth bridge began six or eight months ago.
He said on RPC radio that with the partial closure of the Centennial Bridge following flood damage the problem of traffic congestion has "worsened", especially in the western sector of the province of Panama.
"Soon we'll be announcing the construction of this new bridge," said Suarez.

Currently, there are two bridges, the Bridge of the Americas and the Centennial Bridge, the latter remains partially closed due to access it collapsed in December 2010. Buses and and heavy equipment are banned on the bridge and normal traffic has restricted hours.
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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #41 on: March 02, 2011, 05:48:53 AM »
Early clouds over future canal traffic .


 Tuesday, 01 March 2011 06:51


The Emma Maersk. New vessels will carry 16 percent more.

 Before the widening of the Panama Canal is completed one of the world’s largest shipping lines will be taking delivery of mega carriers, too big to use the multibillion dollar expansion.
 
Danish owned Maersk, is spending nearly $2 billion for 10 containers vessels to transport goods from Asia to Europe.
 
The carriers will be 400 meters long and 59 meters wide, and will be the largest in the world.
 
Other shippers will be watching and could soon be following in the wake of the Maersk line.
 
The vessels will be slightly wider than the new locks of the Canal, which will be 427 meters long and 55 meters wide.
 
 Each ship, costing $190 miilion will carry 18,000 containers, 16 percent more than the company's largest current vessel, the Emma Maersk. They will be built in South Korea and delivered between 2013 and 2015.
 
The widened canal is scheduled to be opened in 2014, one hundred years after the opening of the original waterway.

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #42 on: March 11, 2011, 10:40:56 AM »
Any news about if the Panama Canal will close briefly because of the Tsunami warnings in the region,or it will operate normally?

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #43 on: March 11, 2011, 11:25:30 AM »
Luis, I ask, and this is what I just got back.  (Not yet…  We believe it may be a “tsunami” of perhaps 0.5 mts, and would hit the peninsula of Azuero (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azuero_Peninsula) prior to reaching the Canal’s Pacific entrance; therefore being nullified. 

The position of this peninsula in relation to Japan, in attached image, show how the peninsula should protect the Canal area.)  C.C.13

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #44 on: March 14, 2011, 06:08:54 AM »

Canal excavation providing material for major redevelopments .


 Sunday, 13 March 2011 09:57


The millions of tons of earth being removed for the widening of the Canal are to be used for major landfill projects around Panama city.

 The $200 million projects have been hailed by tourism groups, but questioned by some businesses and urban design critics.
 
The Causeway faces widening.
 
Excavated material from the Canal expansion  will be  used for  three land reclamation projects and the expansion of the Amador Causeway to four lanes.

 Alexis Ho, the coordinator of special projects for the department of Reverted Areas, says the projects will generate economic activity in those areas, but Miguel López Piñeiro, president of Fort Amador Resort & Marina, thinks the plans could cause further harm to already struggling businesses, and increase competition.
 
Urban planner Álvaro Uribe expressed concern that widening the road to the Causeway could create traffic problems, and noted the islands along it have limited space for more vehicles.
 
Among the planned projects would be along the Avenida de los Poetas, in  in El Chorrillo, where the government had originally planned to build a convention center.
 
The center is now planned for the Causeway where critics claim there is insufficient hotel accommodation. The Chorillo site will be used for commercial and tourist-related projects.
 
This work will be in addition to the construction of the third phase of the Cinta Costera, which will connect Avenida Balboa with the Bridge of the Americas through Avenida de los Poetas.
 
The second reclamation project will be in front of the Frank Gehry designed Museum of Biodiversity The third will be used to build a marina on Naos Island.
 
Discussions will take place March 21 to update the master plan for Amador.

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #44 on: March 14, 2011, 06:08:54 AM »