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Panama Canal: Locked in

19 November 2008

Read more: [panama canal] [finance] [project]

The Autoridad del Canal de Panama (ACP), the authority that operates the Panama Canal, has raised $2.3 billion in senior unsecured debt from multilateral institutions for its expansion project. The ACP expects that the project's capital cost will be $5.25 billion, and around 57% of this will be funded from operating revenues at the canal.

The five-year construction period involves four stages, each with its own design-build contract. The construction of a third set of locks in the canal is the most challenging, and most expensive, of the stages. This contract will be awarded early in 2009, and four respondents to a request for proposals have been shortlisted to bid. Other works include dredging the canal entrances on the Atlantic and the Pacific; deepening and widening the existing navigation channels; and increasing the operational capacity at Gatun Lake, which provides water to the waterway.

Five multilateral lenders are...

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