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Panama Canal Infrastructure Investments and Service Enhancements to Move Forward

Date: 02-JUL-2007

PANAMA CITY, Panama, July 02, 2007 - Numerous enhancements of and investments in the Panama Canal will move forward. On Saturday, June 30, 2007, the 2008 fiscal year budget for these projects, which includes investments in Canal service, reliability and efficiency, was approved by the Panamanian legislature. The ACP is an autonomous agency and its budgets are reviewed and given final approval by the legislature.

Enhancements include ongoing investments in technology, new equipment and capital improvements. Moreover, the Canal's 2008 funds to continue the expansion program were approved. Expansion appropriations include, among others: funding the second phase of dry excavation of the new lane on the Pacific side, the widening of the Gaillard Cut and the deepening of the navigational channel in Gatun Lake.

Expansion will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, which will double capacity and allow more traffic and wider ships.

"These investments are the product of detailed analysis and evaluation to ensure that we continue funding the right projects to continuously improve and maintain Canal service. The business of the Canal is to ensure that we provide customers with a safe and reliable service. Consistently increasing the value of the Panama Canal remains our top priority," said ACP Board of Directors Chairman and Minister for Canal Affairs Dani Ariel Kuzniecky.

A market-oriented business model, steady growth in tonnage and income, reliable service and increased demand have yielded a higher value for the Canal. The ACP will continue its efforts to maximize Panama's strategic location as it becomes the logistics and transportation hub of the Americas.

About the Panama Canal Authority
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The ACP is governed by its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the Panama Canal Authority's Web site: http://www.pancanal.com/.  For Panama Canal video, please visit www.thenewsmarket.com/panamacanal.


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