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Multinational Institutions Visit Panama Canal Expansion Site

Date: 29-JAN-2013

PANAMA CITY, Panama, January 29, 2013 - Representatives from the five multilateral institutions that have signed agreements for the financing of the Panama Canal Expansion Program took part in the annual visit organized to oversee the program's progress.

"This visit is part of the agreement signed between the Panama Canal Authority and the five institutions that have provided partial financing for the Expansion Program," Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano said at the end of the tour.

The delegation included experts from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the European Investment Bank (EIB), Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), International Financing Corporation (IFC) and the Andean Development Corporation (CAF).

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) holds annual visits since the signature of the agreement in 2008. The representatives receive progress reports and visit the expansion site to verify that the different aspects of the financing agreement are met.

The delegation received details on the progress of the Expansion Program, which is currently 50 percent complete. Beginning 2013, the program completed several projects, such as the dredging of the navigational channels on the Pacific and Atlantic sides.

The delegation received reports on the safety and occupational health, environmental safety and the social aspects of the projects. These issues are among the strict requirements that guarantee the financing of the program.

The representatives also received updated information on the waterway's performance during the last fiscal year, as well as the Panama Canal forecast, budgeted activities and the Expansion Program financial requirements for 2013.

The delegation visited the sites of the different projects within the Expansion Program on the Atlantic and Pacific sides.

In addition, the delegation received an update on the different conflict resolution and claim mechanisms, as well as information on the progress of the construction of the bridge on the Atlantic side of the Canal.

Financing
In December 2008, the ACP signed agreements with a group of five multinational institutions to procure financing of up to US$2.3 billion required for the Expansion Program.

In total, agreements were signed for US$800 million with the JBIC, US$500 million with the EIB, US$400 million with the IDB, US$300 million with the IFC and US$300 million with the CAF.

To date, the JBIC (US$ 800 million), the EIB (US$100 million and the IDB (US$100 million) have been paid out for the program.

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 website: http://www.pancanal.com/. You can also follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/thepanamacanal.


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