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Panama's President lauds Manzanillo International Terminal expansion

Panama's President lauds Manzanillo International Terminal expansion
Manzanillo International Terminal-Panama (MIT) received four new ZPMC super post-panamax gantry cranes as part of its $270m expansion plan that will increase handling capacity to 4m teu.

Upon commissioning, expected by October 2015, a total of 11 post-panamax and 8 super post-panamax container cranes will be lined up along MIT's 2,000 m container quay.

Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela with the Panama Maritime Authority Administrator and Minister of Maritime Affairs Jorge Barakat and Stanley Motta, member of MIT’s board of directors, came on Friday 28 August 2015, to MIT located on the Atlantic entrance of the Panama Canal, for a short ceremony and to visit the terminal installations. President Varela was welcomed by MIT general manager Stacy Hatfield.

“MIT is a successful example of private investment in one of our most important economic sectors, transport and logistics. The arrival of those cranes and MIT’s expansion are not only significant for the province of Colon where MIT is located but are key elements for consolidating Panama as a maritime and logistics center, in particular on the eve of the inauguration of the Panama Canal expansion and the new third lane,” said President Varela.

MIT is a joint venture of Seattle-based SSA Marine and a group of Panamanian investors.

This year, the terminal celebrated its 20th anniversary of operations, April 16th, 2015, and is widely recognised as the pioneer of port activity in Panama. With the second highest container volume in the country, it has led Panama to become the most important transhipment centre of the Americas.

In June 2015, MIT became the first Latin American terminal fully automated and operating Automatic Stacking Cranes (ASC’s). The first phase of MIT’s expansion plans, that will ultimately double capacity to 4m teu will conclude by year-end with an additional 395 m-post-panamax- berth, equipped with four new super-post-panamax cranes, and new ro-ro dolphins that will accommodate two ro-ro vessels simultaneously.

The environmental-friendly new cranes are capable of handling the biggest vessels in the world and are ready for operation from a remote control station. By October 2015, MIT will be able to serve 2 new-Panamax vessels simultaneously.

"MIT's new cranes (valued at $50m) are the largest in Latin America. Upon the completion of our latest expansion project, MIT will have invested almost $1bn, which represents our commitment to Panama and our customers. Along with our customers, we are eagerly awaiting the completion of the Panama Canal expansion in order to see the deployment of new-panamax tonnage in the region," said MIT gm Stacy Hatfield.