PSA Panama International Terminal (PSA Panama) has started work on a US$400m expansion which will take its capacity from 450,000 teu to 2m teu.
The company, a subsidiary of PSA International, hopes to complete the works before the end of 2016 so that it opens at the same time as the expanded Panama Canal.
The terminal, which began operations in December 2010, is located on the west bank of the Panama Canal’s Pacific entrance
Alessandro Cassinelli, general manager of PSA Panama said: “The approvals by the Panamanian National Assembly and the Panama Canal Authority are important milestones for us.”
He continued to say that his company have been working closely with the government for two years on the expansion plans, which aim to allow the terminal to handle vessels with up to 18,000 teu capacity.
Enno Koll, PSA’s head of Latin America added: “When the enlarged Panama Canal opens, vessels of up to 12,500 teu will ply the Asia-US East Coast routes and be able to use Panama’s Pacific coast as a transshipment hub for the West Coast of South and Central America.”
“Vessels of 4,000 teu can then serve Ecuador, Peru and Chile, as well as Guatemala and Costa Rica, on a weekly schedule via Panama,” he continued, “this allows shipping lines to benefit from economies of scale in operating across the Pacific and the South American coast.”
The terminal will feature eight quay cranes, 12 rail-mounted gantry cranes (RMGs), nine rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs) and 52 prime movers and three empty container handlers.