Creation and expansion of port projects is an important way government and private companies are developing Central America's infrastructure. Improving a country's infrastructure through port modernization and expansion is sure to increase capacity for shipping, commerce, and tourism. Port projects that are in various stages of planning or completion include the Panama Colon Container Port, the Cruise Port at Isla Perico, and the efforts to widen the Panama Canal.
Panama Colon Container Port
The Panama Colon Container Terminal specializes in handling containers and cargo in general. The port uses advanced technology for fast and efficient cargo processing serving all shipping lines on a first come, first serve basis. The Panama Colon Container Port is a $594 million port terminal project that is planned for construction in the Margarita Bay in the village of Cristobal district, province of Colon and is in its early stages having recently submitted an environmental impact study.
Cruise Port at Isla Perico
In an effort to boost Panama's tourist facilities, $30 million has been budgeted to develop a cruise ship port in Amador. The project is to be built for Perico island. A tender offer has been made to hire a company to provide, "technical assistance to the the Maritime Authority of Panama and project management of the studies, design, development and approval of plans, and construction of the cruise terminal in Amador, Isla Perico."
Widening the Panama Canal
The purpose of widening and deepening the canal at the Pacific entrance is to facilitate increased shipping traffic and to allow for larger ships to pass through. According to the media "The existing entrance southbound of the Americas Bridge will be broadened over a distance of 7 kilometers (4.4 miles) by 37 meters (40.5 yards) on both sides, making the total width 300 meters (328 yards)." Expanding the canal will open up global trade routes such as those for liquefied natural gas coming from the United States and destined for Asia as access through the canal will reduce the travel distance by about 5000 nautical miles.
Effects on the Economy of Panama
The increase in cargo traffic that is expected by the expansion of the Panama Canal has lead economists to estimate growth rates of 5.5% - 6.5% for the next one to five years. Demand for the canal is also expected to skyrocket as the United States seeks to export natural gas to growing Asian markets. Many see a need to expand inland rail and highway routes as well as Panama thrives from the increases in global commerce.
CENTRAL LAW, a Central American law firm which counts with 11 offices located in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras (San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa), Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo, Punta Cana, Samana and Puerto Plata) has an expert team focused in the legal advice in Public Bids and has achieved a great reputation advising companies in their participation as bidders in international public tenders related to the construction and improvement of ports, roads and airports. Recent examples of the mentioned legal work are the advice to IFC in the tender process of Puerto La Unión (El Salvador); to Ports America in the public bid for the construction and operation of Containers and General Cargo Terminal of Puerto Cortés (Honduras); to Prodemex in the public bid for the design, construction and operation of the Civic Government Center of Tegucigalpa (Honduras); to Munich Airport in the advice to negotiate agreements with EMCO to enter the tender process for the construction and operation of the Palmerola Airport (Comayagua, Honduras).