Author Topic: PANAMA CANAL NEWS  (Read 9628 times)

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Cape Cod 13

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #75 on: April 30, 2012, 05:13:52 AM »
Panama Canal plans toll increases..   C.C.13

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Board of Directors has approved a proposal to modify the Panama Canal pricing structure "to align Canal toll charges with the value the route provides."
 
The proposal increases the number of segments from eight to eleven by Panama Canal vessel type. It also breaks down the tanker segment into three distinct segments, establishes a new segment for container/breakbulk, and incorporates the roll-on/roll-off vessels into the vehicle carrier segment. Once approved, the Panama Canal market segmentation scheme will include the following segments: full container, reefer, dry bulk, passenger, vehicle carrier and ro-ro, tanker, chemical tanker, LPG, general cargo and others.
 
Price Proposal
 
Effective July 1, 2012, the ACP proposes to increase the tolls for the following segments: general cargo, container/break bulk (new segment), dry bulk, tanker (redefined segment), chemical tanker (new segment), LPG (new segment), vehicle carrier and ro-ro (merged segment), and the segment known as others. The remaining segments will not be adjusted at this time. Additionally, there will be changes to tolls applicable to small vessels based on vessel length, to incorporate adjustments not previously considered.
 
"This proposal continues to align the Panama Canal tolls to the value, benefit and quality the route provides, and maintains the competitiveness of the Panama Canal", stated Alberto Alemán Zubieta, ACP Administrator/CEO.
 
Consultation period and public hearing
 
As part of the tolls adjustment process, the ACP has established a consultation period from April 20 - May 21, 2012, during which the ACP will receive formal written comments, opinions and written requests from interested parties to participate in the public hearing. The public hearing will be held in Panama City, Panama, in the ACP's "Ascanio Arosemena" auditorium on May 23, 2012.
 
"The ACP will continue its dialogue with the industry to develop a pricing structure that meets the needs of our customers – one that benefits them and Panama", added Alemán Zubiet

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #76 on: May 08, 2012, 07:31:07 AM »
LOOKS LIKE THEY WILL TRANSIT TODAY.  C.C.13

Fleet set for Panama Canal transit - 07 May 2012

The ten-strong fleet of ocean racing yachts taking part in the Clipper 11-12 Race is now complete after the final arrivals in Panama.

Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, Singapore and New York arrived last night while Qingdao, Derry-Londonderry and De Lage Landen arrived this morning under the bright Panama sun.

The teams will now await their transit of the Panama Canal with Gold Coast Australia, Visit Finland, Welcome to Yorkshire and Geraldton Western Australia expected to begin their transit tomorrow (Tuesday), a day ahead of the original schedule.

Each group of boats will leave the marina at 0530 local time (1030 UTC) to begin their transit of the Panama Canal.

The first lock of the canal is the Miraflores Locks and the final is the Gatun Locks. Click here for the Panama Canal webcams.

Upon arriving in Panama, Derry-Londonderry skipper, Mark Light was in positive mood after his team’s fifth position in the race from Oakland, San Francisco Bay.

“We were right up there in second place at one point but then dropped down to tenth so to climb back up to fifth position was a great race for us.

“I’m really pleased to be here and I’m looking forward to a couple of bays in Panama before transiting the canal which is something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Updates of transit times will be posted regularly.

http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/index.php/race-news?item=639

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #76 on: May 08, 2012, 07:31:07 AM »

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #77 on: May 22, 2012, 05:15:37 AM »
220 cruise ships, 220,000 passengers transit Canal .   C.C.13


Monday, 21 May 2012 17:48
 
A total of 200 cruise ships with more than 220,000 passengers crossed the Panama Canal in the recently concluded 2011-2012 season.

 The season ended May 17 with the transit of Celebrity Millenium, a ship of Celebrity Cruises, a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, said the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) on May 1. The Celebrity Millennium, which went through the interoceanic waterway from Miami made ??a 15-day journey to San Diego,California.
 
Jaime Castillo, of the Canal Research and Market Analysis, between October 1, 2011, when the season started, until 17 May, there were 200 cruise transits with a total of 222, 203 passengers. The routes of thevessels are usually of short duration, covering the islands of the Caribbean and the east and west coasts of Central America.
 
This season saw on May 5, the first transit of the Norwegian Jewel operated by Norwegian Cruise Line. The ship, with a capacity for 2,376 sailed from New York in late April bound for Los Angeles.

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #78 on: May 31, 2012, 05:18:51 AM »
CANAL EXPANSION: ANALYSIS Rewards outpacing risks .    C.C.13
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 10:55

CANAL EXPANSION: ANALYSIS Rewards outpacing risks canal expansion

By Mark Scheinbaum
 
Special to Newsroom Panama
 
Just the fourth and final phase remains of the gigantic expansion of the Panama Canal with the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)


 
 Meanwhile the entire nation  is feeling optimistic that the rewards in commerce and revenue will outstrip the risks.
 


Recently along with members of the American Society of Panama I got to see from the Cocoli side of the Canal--across from the Pedro Miguel Locks--areas which by the end of 2014 are expected to be underwater, perhaps for eternity. It was my first comprehensive look behind the scenes of the project since a similar visit in the early days of the "third system of locks" expansion more than two years ago.
 
Below you will find  links to information about the millions of metric yards of earth, billions of dollars spent, and specifics of contractors from Panama, the USA, Brazil. Canada, Italy, France, Costa Rica, Germany and many other countries. But the overall scheme of things might be more productive for those not following the world's largest public works project in decades.
 
First, I am gun shy about naming a price tag, although I have seen reliable numbers that this is a $5 to 7 Billion project. From a more inclusive business perspective, the actual ACP project can not and should not be separated from several simultaneous Panamanian projects, all reaping huge sales for U.S. heavy equipment manufacturers Caterpillar and John Deere.
 
The ancient highway from the Atlantic port of Colon to the Pacific metropolis of Panama City has been renovated; next to it the high speed toll road from Panama to Colon has been completed and then expanded. A spur is being completed all the way to Tocumen International Airport. Also the traffic-mangling, and ear bursting construction of the first ever Panama Metro--both underground and elevated commuter trains is 20 per cent finished. Two new international airports are being built...and on it goes.
 
So let's say the Panama Canal Expansion is a $12-14 billion long term upgrade and renovation consortium for the Republic of Panama which has resisted most of the 2008 global recession and beyond.
 
Today the typical "Panamax" ship (the largest ships designed specifically to traverse the Panama Canal) carry approximately 4,500 shipping containers when fully loaded. Longer and wider locks in the "third generation" of locks will allow "Post-Panamax" ships, already sailing the seas, to cross the Isthmus with 12,500 containers.

Today's average toll for a ship traveling through the Panama Canal of $250,000 will jump to nearly $1 million in tolls for these leviathan ships. That's a big reward for the ACP.
 


A big risk?
 
"Frankly, we know there will be bigger and larger ships in the future. They are already out there now," said ACP spokesman Luis Ferreire, my guide on the inspection tour.
 
He quickly added, "You can't say we would never have to expand again, and we are using designs which allow for that contingency, but we think the revenue stream will be solid because, let's face it, these super, super gigantic vessels were never designed to use the Panama Canal anyway....they stay at sea longer, and go further than ever before, with such huge cargo capacity, particularly for non perishables, that their costs tot he end users stay down."
 
Even with those limitations, many expert believe that just the 12,500 v 4,500 per load container factors will cut shipping costs, and hopefully prices to the consumer--from customers of Wal-Mart to Japanese and European cars, even after higher tolls are absorbed.
 
The United States and many of its aging port facilities have also been part of specific ACP information tours, seminars, friendship visits, trade missions, and projected expansion schemes with promises that a bigger Panama Canal means more money.
 
Since neither the attractive cruise ship ports of Miami and Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) or Palm Beach are huge container players compared to say Jacksonville or New Orleans, Port Manatee at the lower mouth entrance to lucrative rail-head Tampa Bay is positioning for more Panama induced trade.
 


Port Manatee believes it actually becomes the closest viable transshipment point to the expanded Panama Canal, and also to renewed trade with Cuba if and when embargos are lifted, and its Port Authority has geared up for the 2014 new Canal completion.
 
An estimated $750 million is being spent as part of a Master Plan for the Manatee area to improve shipping and harbor and connecting road and resource infrastructure. What's good for Panama could be good for Florida and Manatee County.
 
In Houston, shipping interests have been big promoters of the Canal Expansion not only for potential as an oil and gas customer--a role being expanded monthly--but because of the large confluence of rail lines which bring air freight, rail, truck, and Houston Shipping Channel cargo into play in the fourth largest metropolitan area in the United States.
 
The 2014 completion date is a bit iffy, but politically it is important to the ACP and its arms-length civilian surroundings of Panama to complete the project within the 100th anniversary year of the completion of the Panama Canal by the United States. As of now it looks as if the "official" rededication will be December, 2014 even if the new areas are not yet fully functional.
 
Environmental issues have been dealt with, again hopefully, in ways never anticipated a century ago. Three "holding ponds" will re-use and filter water in each new lock three times, before releasing it into the next chamber, and so forth, until pristine water is released and allowed to flow in the Pacific Ocean. Dredging and anti erosion projects along Lake Gatun and to the Atlantic Coast are also considering wildlife, water pollution, sustainable environments etc at all levels of planning.
 
Historically, ACP scholars are trying to map, and photograph, and restore as much of the old "Canal Zone" heritage as possible, within the limitations of entire mountains (but they call them "hills") having been leveled, blasted, and chopped to silt and sand. Even the old Borinquin (Puerto Rican) Highway which winded along the west side of the Canal and villages such as Cocoli, will be retained in the name of an overflow spillway and reservoir system.
 
Perhaps most surprising to many of the non-VIP tourists going to the Miraflores Panama Canal Visitors Center with its restaurants, interactive displays and simulators and gift shops, is the lasting durability of the portions of the Canal from a century ago. Many of the redundant systems, floating steel lock doors, pumps and hydro electric generators are still functioning. Many have been modified and upgraded, but even with current construction it is mostly business as usual along the existing Canal.
 
Additional data, news releases, photo sites, engineering notes:
 
http://www.pancanal.com/eng/expansion/index.html
 
Mark Scheinbaum is a financial consultant and former professor at Louisville University in Panama, and now living in the USA. He is a regular contributor to Newsroom.

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #79 on: July 08, 2012, 05:23:19 AM »
Protests grow over canal toll increases .   C.C.13


 Saturday, 07 July 2012 12:01

 
The growing international protests against the raising  of Panama canal tolls   is casting shadows on the government's projections of future income.

THE Asian Shipowners' Forum (ASF),  has been been joined  by the Japanese Shipowners' Association (JSA in protesting  against  Panama Canal toll increases, saying that they were made without consultation and at a time when the industry can least afford them.
 
"Under the current economic situation, the newly proposed toll increase would be detrimental to the shipping industry," said the ASF. A similar message was issued by the JSA.
 
"The ASF urges the ACP [Panama Canal Authority] to withdraw its current proposal for toll adjustments in 2012 and 2013 and to maintain a close and interactive dialogue with the shipping industry to ensure that toll adjustments would be reasonable, transparent and gradually implemented," said the statement.
 
This comes in response to the Canal Authority (ACP) announcement of its intention to raise tolls in July and again next year 2013 and to modify the toll structure. The ACP has invited comments.
 
Said the ASF statement: "Given the importance of the Panama Canal as an international public infrastructure vital for efficient operation of the global supply chain, the notice period for the proposed toll increase given by the ACP was too short.
 
"The proposed toll increase was unilaterally formulated without any form of consultation or dialogue with the shipping industry and the ASF is of the view that this may inhibit business planning which could possibly lead to reduction in the total revenue received by the ACP," the statement said.
 
The ASF would also request the ACP to review its pricing policy to increase tolls at an annual 3.5 per cent average rate for 20 years, which was referred to in the "Proposals for the Expansion of the Panama Canal" in April 2006.

Meanwhile Nicaragua discussions are progressing with potential investors, including Korea, for the construction  of a sea level canal without locks. It is estimated that the construction would take 10 years.

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #80 on: July 13, 2012, 05:06:34 AM »
Visitor center planned for expanded canal .

Thursday, 12 July 2012 15:   C.C.13
 
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is calling for companies interested in a  concession for a visitor center on the Third Set of Locks.

 The ACP statement says  that the observation center buildings will have administrative and customer services, an observation tower, public squares, parking areas, restaurants and cafes, shops and salons. It will be located in the area of Cocolí, on the west bank of the Panama Canal saysCentral American Data.

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #81 on: July 31, 2012, 05:50:09 AM »
Nicaragua canal study contract signed .   C.C.13  :o


 Monday, 30 July 2012 14:18

 
Two Dutch firms have  received a  $720,000 contract from Nicaragua’s government  to study the possibility of building a canal to rival Panama’s.

Since the mid-nineteenth century, the "Nicaragua Canal" has been considered a possibility to join the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea,  and ir would not require locks, thus giving a faster and less expensive transit time. Some experts believe that increasing global navigation indicates that two channels in Central America will benefit the shipping industry, especially if the Nicaragua Canal can accommodate ships of deep draft.
 
Infrastructure companies DHV and Royal Haaskoning Ecorys said Monday they will complete their study in early 2013.
 
The government of Nicaragua estimates that construction would cost about $20 billion dollars and  is seeking international investors. South Korea has already expressed interest in the project.

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #82 on: August 09, 2012, 05:40:48 AM »
Increased charges for canal transit delayed .


Wednesday, 08 August 2012 06:30
 
The introduction of increased rates for transiting the Panama Canal will be delayed following protests from major shipping groups.

 The Cabinet Council approved  the timing of new fees set by the board of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) on Tuesday, August 7.
 
During his presentation to the Cabinet, the administrator of the ACP, Alberto Aleman Zubieta said that in view of the request for additional time by the industry during the consultation period and public hearing, the board amended its original proposal. The effective date of the first phase of adjustments has been moved to October 2012 and the second phase in October 2013, according to a bulletin of the Ministry of Communications.  The initial dates set for the toll increases were the July 1, 2012 and July 11 2013.
 
Aleman Zubieta  said that with the enactment of the adjustments, the waterway would not jeopardize its competitiveness...........................C.C.13  :o

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #83 on: August 11, 2012, 06:28:24 AM »
New Canal bridge in Colon gets cash infusion .    C.C.13   :P


 Friday, 10 August 2012 14:49
 
 
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) as approved this year a contribution of  $186 million towards the construction of a bridge across the waterway in Colon.

The concrete cable-stayed bridge will be  990 meters long and  will improve transport and communications on the Caribbean slope.
 
Outgoing ACP administrator Alberto Zubieta Aleman confirmed the, details on Friday Jul 10. He said there are several groups aspiring to win the bid to build the bridge, costing approximately $500 million. They include the Brazilian company Odebrecht,  and three consortia, one Korean, one Spanish and one French

The  consortium China Communications Construction Company / Louis Berger Group won the contract for the final design of the bridge, which will have a height of 75 meters above sea level.
 
The group presented the lowest bid in May ($4.7 million). The budget of the Panama Canal for the fiscal year October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013 anticipated total income $238 billion,  and made direct contributions to the state of  $960 million and indirect $177 million.

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #84 on: August 14, 2012, 05:27:06 AM »
Canal consortium claiming $537 million from ACP .        C.C.13   :-\


Monday, 13 August 2012 21:46
 
The GUPC consortium building the third set of locks for the Canal Expansion is claiming $573 million from the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) for breach of contract.

 It claims additional costs for the construction of the third set of locks due to a delay in permits, employees who had stopped their work because the concrete tests were not approved and excessive rains in recent months.
 The executive of GUPC said the amount they claim is the right measure. "We're not asking for anything  more or less," said the project manager Ricardo Gonzalez.
ACP administrator, Herman Zubieta Aleman said that complaints are normal when the contractor faces different conditions … there is a procedure to view this topic, he said. "They have their arguments and we have ours."
GUPC was awarded the contract for design and construction of the third set of locks for $3.18 billion. The project is reported as six months behind and the work will be ready in April 2015 and not October 2014 as planned.
 The delays are related to pouring concrete for the locks, which started six months late because the consortium was unable to deliver the mixture with the required specifications. Gonzalez said the consortium is trying to catch up on the schedule In the contract there are three mechanisms to settle disputes with the contractor. First, the consortium must submit the claim to the ACP, and second, if no agreement is reached it can go before a board of adjudication, and third, go to a final appeal to an Internatii=oanl  Court of Arbitration.

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #85 on: August 15, 2012, 06:06:41 AM »

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #86 on: August 16, 2012, 05:19:20 AM »
Visitor center to view canal expansion locks is open ...............C.C.13  ;)

Wednesday, 15 August 2012 18:10
 
The Panama Canal Expansion Center in Colon opened on August 15 and is awaiting your visit to see the construction of the world’s biggest locks.

 This is a work conceived so that visitors can "witness the construction of the third set of locks," says Sixta Diaz, manager of the Visitor Centers Unit of the Canal Authority (ACP)  the new center is a more environmentally friendly than the  viewpoints of Gatun and Miraflores, and is built on an elevated site in the midst  of the jungle area east of  the construction  project but visitors will be able to see progress on  the monumental infrastructure.
 
Diaz says that since the start of the  expansion project in September 2007, she has not stopped receiving applications for visitors, groups or individuals who want to see the development of the new locls  without affecting the operation  of the canal.
 
To date, the expansion program as a whole has progressed 43% and according to the original schedule should be completed in October 2014. However, the. consortium responsible for the construction of the third set of locks, has had delays in the work so the completion date  could be extended to  April 2015
 
The ACP has approached cruise lines that have expressed interest in site visits with tourists coming to Colon and has also contacted tour operators for group tours.

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #87 on: November 21, 2012, 06:25:22 AM »
One dead four injured in canal expansion accident .  C.C.13


 Tuesday, 20 November 2012 17:32


 
One man was   killed and four injured  while working on  the construction of the  third set of locks of the Panama Canal expansion on the Atlantic side on Tuesday November 20.


 
A press release from  Grupo Unidos por el Canal said the accident happened at approximately 2:30 pm.. The injured  men are being treated at the  Hospital Manuel Amador Guerrero in Colon.
 
The incident occurred during the dismantling of a tower crane located in the upper level of the excavation of the locks.
 
In a statement the  company said it deeply regrets what happened, in solidarity with the families of the employees and will continue to report on the condition of those who have  been injured and the progress of the investigation.

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #88 on: November 24, 2012, 08:40:21 AM »
Canal expansion work halted after death of worker ............C.C.13


 Friday, 23 November 2012 22:53
 
The company responsible for the expansion work of the Panama Canal in the area of Gatun in Colon province, has called on striking employees, to return to work after a 48-hour strike following the depth of one worker and injuries to four.

 " Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), calls for the resumption of work, and reflection of the impact on the project because of the suspension of activities," the company said through a press release.
The workers, who held a picket and chanted, decided to suspend their work because of the death of Salome Rodriguez on Tuesday during an industrial accident in which four others were injured.
 The company said it was surprised by the decision of the workers to suspend work due to the accident, as on Wednesday, it was decided to suspend all activity,mourning in solidarity with the employees affected and their families.
 The company reiterated that it is collaborating with the authorities to determine the causes of the accident.
 It also stressed that it will provide answers and support to the families of those affected.

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #89 on: December 05, 2012, 07:34:10 AM »
Ex Canal chief may run for Panama president ............

Tuesday, 04 December 2012 22:02
 
The former administrator of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), Alberto Aleman Zubieta is considering a run for the presidency.


 
The man who ran the world’s most important waterway for 16 years made the statement on Tuesday December 4 during a ceremony at the Technological University of Panama where he was awarded an honorary doctorate for his "leadership, excellence, integrity and transparency in trunning the Panama Canal, the cornerstone of the global maritime service.”
 
He said that "many people in the street" had approached him to run as a presidential candidate in the 2014 general elections. Therefore, he said, he is considering a presidential bid.
Alemán Zubieta ended his term as Canal administrator in September, and, says La Prensa, various sectors of the country applauded his work during the 16 years in charge of the canal management.
 Talk among politicians that the ruling Democratic Change (CD) may offer the opportunity for the presidential nomination. While political analysts argue that he could run as an independent candidate.
 Seven people have so far said they will run for president.

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Re: PANAMA CANAL NEWS
« Reply #89 on: December 05, 2012, 07:34:10 AM »