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95 Years of Safe, Reliable and Efficient Service: Panama Canal Celebrates Anniversary as Engine of World Trade

Date: 14-AUG-2009

Canal Expected to Reach One Million Transits in 2010

95 Years of Safe, Reliable and Efficient Service Panama City, August 14, 2009 - Tomorrow, the Panama Canal will celebrate 95 years of service as an engine of global trade and national growth. Since the steamship Ancón's inaugural Canal passage August 15, 1914, the waterway has offered safe, reliable and efficient service to more than 983,000 transits. The Canal will reach the significant mark of one million transits next year.

"Over the past 95 years, the Canal has witnessed, and been instrumental in events that will forever shape Panama's destiny," said ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta. "The Canal has been a part of the evolution of transportation as a vehicle for bringing together nations around the world. Similarly, it has contributed to various orders of human progress and scientific advancements such as engineering, dredging, hydraulics, and especially, the successful management of strategic natural resources."

On this anniversary, the Canal finds itself engaged in the largest project since its inauguration, the Expansion Program, which broke ground September 2007. The expansion of the Canal will permit the transit of larger ships carrying more cargo, which will affect economies of scale and increase the usage of the Panamanian waterway. Additionally, just like the construction of the Canal, expansion will contribute to technological advancement in the diverse fields of engineering and construction, among others.

"Biologically, 95 is a mature age, however institutionally it is only a step," added Mr. Alemán Zubieta. "A step, that with regard to the Canal, Panamanians have taken with responsibility and vision. The ACP has the honor of representing each and every Panamanian in the task of operating efficiently, and administrating effectively, an asset that embodies the best of our nation. We look forward to the years ahead and continuing the Canal's development for the benefit of Panama and the world."

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


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