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Contributions Of The Panama Canal

Contributed by Icaza
29 March, 2012

Contributed by Icaza [www.icazalaw.com]

The Panama Canal Authority contributed to the Panamanian Government, during the last fiscal year that ended September 30th, 2011, the sum of 1,043 million dollars. This amount breaks down to $366.9 million for fees for net ton, $1.9 million public service duty and $674.2 million for surplus. This contribution exceeded 28% for the corresponding fiscal period 2010 and the Canal has budgeted for the year 2012 a contribution of 950 million.

During the period of twelve years of Panamanian administration of the waterway, the Panama Canal has contributed to the Government 6,576 million dollars. During the 85 years of U.S. administration, the United States paid to Panama 1.878 million dollars.

In the year 2011, the Canal achieved a historical record of tonnage, by reaching 322.1 million of Canal tons (PC/UMS), an increase of 7.1% compared to 2010. UMS is the Universal Tonnage Measurement of Ships of the Panama Canal, a system of volume used to measure the load capacity of vessels passing through this route. Of the total given above, container ships mobilized more than 113 million tons, followed by dry bulk vessels that mobilized more than 80 million tons and tankers more than 49 million tons. Passenger ships move fewer tons (10.8 million), but are the ones paying higher tolls.

During 2011, there were 14,755 vessel transits through the Canal, 3,253 of them were container ships and 3,285 of dry bulk vessels.

Currently, the project of the expansion of the Panama Canal is taking place, which shall allow the transit of post-panamax vessels that due to their dimensions cannot transit now the Canal. Up to this moment this project has a 35% of advancement.

The main users of the Panama Canal are the United States, China, Chile and Japan, as well as South Korea, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Mexico, among others.


On March 9th, 2012, the Board of Directors of the Panama Canal Authority appointed Eng. Jorge Luis Quijano as the new Administrator of that entity in stead of Eng. Alberto Alemán Zubieta, whose term expires on September 3rd, 2012. Eng. Alemán shall complete 16 years in that important office.
Eng. Quijano began his career in the Panama Canal 36 years ago and currently holds the position of Executive Vice President of Engineering and Management, in charge of the administration of the Canal expansion program, a project for the building of a third set of locks at a cost of 5,250 million dollars that should be completed in the year 2014. He was also Director of Marine Operations of the Canal. His term as Administrator shall last seven years.


The construction of the new set of locks on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal is progressing according to the projections. The excavation works are near to completion, having extracted 16 million cubic meters of earth and rock, of the 20 million programmed. One million tons of this material shall be used to fill the locks, after they build their walls. The navigational channel to the locks will have a kilometer in length and 18 meters in depth.

During the excavations proceedings many fossils and archaeological remains have been discovered, both on the Pacific side as in the Atlantic, which has enabled scientists of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute to perform important studies which have generated new theories regarding the age of the isthmus and the consequent connection of South America with North America.

Our law firm renders legal services to Jan de Nul, a Belgian company which is part of the consortium in charge of these excavations.

Author: Mr. Francisco Gonzalez-Ruiz
Aquilino de la Guardia Street No. 8
IGRA Building, P.O. BOX 0823-02435
Panama, Republic of Panama
Tel: 507 205-6000
Fax: 507 269-4891
Email: igranet@icazalaw.com
Web: www.icazalaw.com



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