Friday, August 2, 2013

Panama Terminal to Undergo $66 Million Expansion

Evergreen Group, which owns Panama’s Colon Container Terminal (CCT), has awarded China Harbor Engineering Co. (CHEC) a $66 million contract to develop the terminal, which sits at the entrance to the Panama Canal.

The expansion project involves the build of a new 1,138-foot dock and 8.5-hectare container storage yard to increase CCT’s capacity to 1.5 million TEU.

In addition to CCT, CHEC is currently working on a number of port related projects in Latin America, including the $220 million expansion of Mexico’s Manzanillo port on behalf of ICTSI.

CHEC says it expects the CCT project to be completed by July 2015, right around the time of the opening of the underway Panama Canal expansion project. The expansion, which began about six years ago, is expected to double the canal’s capacity. It was almost 45 percent complete as of Aug. 31, 2012. The project, which was officially kicked off in September 2007, creates a new lane of traffic along the canal by constructing a new set of locks.

Among the project’s components are the excavations of new access channels, the widening of existing channels and the deepening of navigation channels. The expansion is expected to allow post-Panamax ships to travel through the canal en route to East Coast terminals, something that could negatively affect West Coast vessel traffic.