The President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno, visited the construction site of the new locks in Colon province, in the Atlantic, where he observed the progress Panama Canal Expansion works.
Moreno, accompanied by IDB delegates, is in Panama to participate in the Fifty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors which will take place from March 14 to 17. During the visit, Panama Canal Administrator Jorge Luis Quijano presented an update on the progress of the Expansion Program.
"The visit of President Moreno and his delegation to the same site where the Post-Panamax vessels will be transiting is very relevant because it allows the IDB to see first-hand the progress of a project such as the Panama Canal Expansion which will have a major impact on the economies of the region," Quijano said.
The IDB, together with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, the European Investment Bank, the Corporación Andina de Fomento and the International Finance Corporation, signed an agreement with the Panama Canal Authority in December 2008 for the financing of $2.3 billion for the waterway's expansion to cover a portion of the $5.25 billion total cost of the project.
The Panama Canal Expansion will double the waterway's capacity through the construction of two new locks that will add a third lane, allowing the transit of more cargo and larger vessels and is expected to offer better access for South American shipping to Asian markets.