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            may 26, 2018

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Work starts on building a US$1 billion Panamanian megaport


Work has commenced on building a US$1 billion deepwater port and container terminal near the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal. Both its developer and the company building it are Chinese.
China Landbridge, a privately owned company based in the northern Chinese port of Rizhao, bought Panama's largest port, at Margarita Island, in May last year and announced that it wanted to expand and modernise the facilities. The new high-speed, deepwater port will be called the Panama Colon Container Port (PCCP), reported London's Global Construction Review.
In line with China's One Belt, One Road initiative, the plan is to capitalise on the doubling in the capacity of the canal, which can now handle the new panamax containerships that can transport up to 14,500 TEU.
The first stone of the port was laid on June 7 by Panamanian president Juan Carlos Varela, who commented that the port was the most important Chinese investment in Panama so far.
President of Landbridge Group, Ye Cheng, said during the ceremony that the port would become one of the most important in the world.
"Landbridge's ports in Asia and Oceania together with PCCP on Margarita Island will be efficiently connected to exploit maritime cooperation, contributing to the economic development of all countries," he said.
The work will be carried out in three stages. The first will increase the port's handling capacity to 2.5 million TEU and add a liquefied natural gas terminal.
The contractor will be China Communications Construction Company. When the first stage is complete in the second quarter of 2019, PCCP will have four berths with a total quay length of 1.2 kilometres and a depth of 18 metres.
The second and third stages will add a logistics park and more cranage to the port. According to Panamanian website Critica, the final port will have a capacity of 11 million TEU, making it the 13th largest container port in the world.

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