The Supreme Court has rejected the appeal over constitutional guarantees filed by Panama Ports Company against the tender process for the port.
The port company had argued on several occasions that there was no need to build the port in Corozal, for market reasons, an opinion which it began stating when the Panama Canal Authority announced the project.PPCfiled a legal action a few months after that announcement.
On November 8 Panamanian entrepreneurs will be meeting to discuss the project for the construction and concession of a port in Corozal and its impact on the economy.
From a statement issued by the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama:
Panama, November 01, 2016. -In order to analyze the diversification of opportunities for maximum use of the expanded Canal, the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture in Panama will be holding a national forum in connection with the proposal for a port construction in Corozal, on Tuesday, November 8, which will take place at the guild´s headquarters.
The company that obtains the concession to build and operate the terminal must ensure the movement of at least 70 thousand containers in the first year, at a rate of at least $12 per container.
Unlike other port operators in the country, the company that obtains the concession must comply with certain performance requirements and tariffs set by the Panama Canal Authority.The Request for Proposals document sets out the minimum movement of containers per year of the concession,"... starting with 70,000 a year to the seventeenth year with 490,000. This is a significant requirement when compared with other legal contracts between the state and port operators, in which there is no requirement for performance let alone a table showing movements per year."
The Ministry of Public Works has published the request for proposals for the tender of the design and construction of a fourth bridge over the Panama Canal.
The companies pre-qualified to participate in the tender are Consorcio Panama Cuarto Puente (China); Consorcio Hyundai–Sacyr (Korea / Spain); Dragados Sucursal Panama (Spain); Consorcio Astaldi-Daelim (Italy / Korea); Consorcio Cuarto Puente (China); and Consorcio CCB (Brazil), which includes the company Odebrecht.
The Panama Canal Authority has published the tender documents for the design, construction and operation of a Container Terminal in Corozal.
The companies who will be taking part in the event are PSA International Ltd, Terminal Link, Terminal Investments Limited and APM Terminals, which will have until February 3, 2017 to submit their proposals.
Eleven legal processes are hindering progress of the project that could increase the capacity of container movement in the Panamanian port system.
Panama could already have a container terminal operating on the Pacific side, but opposition from the Panama Ports Company (PPC) and others such as residents of surrounding areas has impeded progress of the project which the Panama Canal Authority has been promoting since 2014.
There has been an increases in traffic of neopanamax ships, which now produce revenues of $68 million, as well as extra maritime services that used to go through the Suez Canal.
An article on Prensa.com reports that "...During the first two months of operation of the expanded Canal 130 neopanamax ships were reported to have passed through, most of them container ships, bringing in total revenues of $68 million.Since the expanded Canal opened on June 26, business has been growing, with 2 new services coming from the Suez Canal, said the Canal Administrator Jorge Luis Quijano."
Expanding moorings in Gamboa on the Atlantic side, continuing construction of the third bridge over the canal, and building another on the mouth of the Chagres River are some of the works planned for 2017.
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP by its initials in Spanish) will have a budget of $2.8 billion to manage in 2017, and among the projects which are to be completed is finishing"... the widening of the canal at the Pacific entrance to 300 meters from the expanded Canal, continuing with the widening of the borders of the Chagres Crossing, Gamboa and Juan Grande. "
In order to take advantage of the connectivity offered by the Canal and its strategic location, the rules for logistics and port industries must be improved and modernized.
The infrastructure and technology is in place, but a better legal framework is needed in order to take advantage of the connectivity and advantages of the Canal and the location of Panama in the Latin American region.
The new canal enlarges the volume of ships that transit through it, as well as the opportunities for growth in a country whose economy was already booming.
As Jorge Quijano, chief executive of the Panama Canal Authority notes, the new Canal will open up new global trade routes.This is particularly true for cargo which goes through ports in the eastern United States, including those on the Gulf Coast.The opportunity is clear for the transport of liquefied natural gas(LNG), which the United States produces in abundance. According to Martin Houston, co - founder of Tellurian, developer of LNG projects, so far only 7% of tankers carrying LNG to Asia pass through the Panama Canal, a figure that will rise to 80% with the expanded Canal.The reason is clear:"A tanker loaded with liquefied natural gas in the US Gulf Coast and destined for Asian markets could shorten its travel distance by about 5,000 nautical miles."
On July 19 shipping companies, logistics and other sectors related to the port industry will be meeting in Panama to discuss issues and opportunities arising from the expanded canal.
The event, organized by the Maritime Authority of Panama, will be held at the Hotel Intercontinental Miramar, from 1 pm.
Anpanama.com reports that "....Among the topics to be discussed are: prospects for Panama's logistics sector after enlargement, adaptation and efficient management of Panamanian ports and the role of private enterprise in the new scenario, among other things."