World » Americas
Author`s name Dmitriy Sudakov

Panama plans expansion of its inter-oceanic canal

The Central American nation aims to handle mammoth cargo ships and oils tankers.

Panama is planning to invest $ 5.25 billion to expand its famous inter-oceanic canal to handle a new generation of mammoth cargo ships and oil tankers, the Panama Canal Authority announced on Monday. With the presence of President Martin Torrijos, the Panamanian officials said the expansion centres on building a second lane and a new set of locks to double its capacity and that construction should be complete by 2014, exactly a century after it was opened.

"Without doubt, it is a formidable challenge and a gigantic project," Torrijos said as the plan was announced. The expansion has been Torrijos' main goal since the took office in 2004 and he urged Congress and ordinary Panamanians to back it.

"If we do not confront the challenge of expanding the canal and improving its capacity to continue providing an efficient and competitive service, other routes will inevitably emerge to replace ours," Torrijos said. The current president of Panam is the son of the popular nationalistic leader, Omar, who was killed in an air crash in 1981 amid suspects of a CIA undercovered plot.

The initiative asks for Parlamentarian support, but, according to observers, it would not be a problem, as Mr. Torrijo’s party has a strong majority in the Congress. The president also studies to call on a referendum to obtain the support of the population.

The plan calls for up to $2.3 billion in loans, although the entire expansion will be paid for with higher tolls.Without an expansion, experts say the waterway could hit saturation point in as little as three years, forcing shippers to use different routes. Mexico and some Central American nations have suggested they might dig their own canals.

Considered a masterpiece of engineering, the Panama canal was opened in 1914 at a cost of 25,000 lives of workers from 50 countries. It makes a shortcut between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, saving ships the long trip around South America and the treacherous Cape Horn. About 38 to 40 ships pass through the 50-mile (80-km) canal every day.

A French entrepeneur initiated the works in 1880, which were finished by US industrials 34 years later. As Panama was part of Colombia and Bogota claimed full control over the isthmus, Washington fuelled the independence of the country at the beginning of the XXth century. The recently created nation gave US companies full control of the canal and Washington run the waterway for almost a century, until it handed over to Panama in 1999.

Hernan Etchaleco
Pravda.Ru

A year after the constitutional referendum of December 4th, 2016 that saw the victory of the NAY and the blatant defeat of the government front that had proposed the referendum, it can be said with certainty that the trauma for the defeated is now past. But there is still fear in them, not so hidden either...

Italy: Free fall

On December 10, 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, its thirty articles enshrining basic and fundamental rights guaranteeing dignity of the human person and equality for all, regardless of race, color, creed or gender. A pipe dream?

Human Rights Day: Let us hang our heads in shame
Comments
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
USA looking for reason to see nuclear weapons in action
Why did Donald Trump recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
Russia works on MiG-41 doomsday fighter jet
Russia works on MiG-41 doomsday fighter jet
Russia works on MiG-41 doomsday fighter jet
Mikhail Saakashvili's bumpy ride in politics: From chewing his tie to climbing on rooftop
Mikhail Saakashvili's bumpy ride in politics: From chewing his tie to climbing on rooftop
European Court of Human Rights: Promoting filth and insolence
European Court of Human Rights: Promoting filth and insolence
Russian athletes announce their decision about 2018 Winter Olympic Games
Turkish President Erdogan issues ultimatum to Washington and Brussels
Gorbachev names reason behind crisis in US-Russian relations
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
Human Rights Day: Let us hang our heads in shame
Human Rights Day: Let us hang our heads in shame
Human Rights Day: Let us hang our heads in shame
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision