To simplify the process of assessing tolls, the ACP proposes to charge vessels on the basis of their maximum displacement draught, rather than on their arrival draught as at present. It has also proposed some minor changes to its administrative charges. For passenger vessels, the ACP is proposing a system of tolls based on their maximum passenger capacity, in response to feedback from the industry.
“This proposal is well thought and well researched,” said ACP administrator/CEO Alberto AlemÃ¡n Zubieta. “We recognise the value of the Panama Canal and its service to the shipping and maritime communities and, indeed, to global trade. These new prices will allow us to continue providing the industry with the service it wants and the service it deserves.
“At the same time, they will allow us to make the programmed investments for the Panama Canal Master Plan, which proposes to expand the capacity of the existing Canal through the construction of a third set of locks. The industry has continually requested price stability and we have included this in our proposal and extended it until 2009, unparalleled in the industry.”
Formal consultation on the proposals will continue until March 12, 2007, and a public hearing will take place in Panama on March 14. In the meantime, the ACP has awarded the financial adviser contract for the Master Plan expansion project to Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd. Mizuho emerged victorious from a total of 15 firms that participated in the international bid for the contract.