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Panama Canal Receives Its 11th International Award For Expansion Program

by Mike Godfrey, for LawAndTax-News.com, Washington

17 June 2009


The Panama Canal Expansion Program received its 11th international award to date at the 2009 International Logistics and Material Handling Exhibition (SIL 2009) in Barcelona, Spain on June 4.

Judges unanimously bestowed the "Best International Project" award on the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) for its management of the Canal's expansion, the "largest infrastructure initiative in Latin America."

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 longer, wider ships.

During the awards ceremony, judges of SIL 2009 recognized the original construction of the Canal as "one of the engineering wonders of all time." Judges also acknowledged the efforts of the more than 9,000 dedicated Panamanians employed by the ACP who help facilitate the transit of ships through the Canal every day.

Enrique Lacalle, president of the SIL 2009 organizing committee, presented the award to ACP Vice President of Corporate Communications Fernán Molinos Delaswsky, who accepted it on behalf of the country and the Canal's employees.

"We're honored to receive such a prestigious award," Mr Molinos explained, adding:

"This recognition is well deserved by all those involved in the historic expansion project, as well as the Canal's ongoing operations. Receiving this honor further underscores Panama's commitment and the ACP's staunch dedication to maximizing the waterway's resources to provide safe, reliable and efficient service to its customers - which is the business of the Canal."

The Panamanian delegation included the Administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) Fernando Solórzano, Vice Minister of Foreign Trade Severo Sousa, Colon Free Trade Zone Manager Nilda Quijano and Customs Director Vilma de Luca.

Also in attendance were Federico Suárez, incoming minister of public works; José Domingo, Arias, incoming vice minister of trade; Amauri Castillo, secretary general of the Superintendency of Banks; Romano Feoli of the Panama-Pacific Special Economic Area Agency; and, Jaime Álvarez, cargo director for Copa Airlines.

The "Best International Project" award was one of six awards given at the SIL 2009 ceremony, which convened logistics professionals and businesspeople from several continents.

This is the 11th international honor received for the management of the Canal's expansion. Other awards bestowed upon the ACP include the esteemed Samoter award for "Best Construction Project in the World" and "Best Long Term Performance Project" last year in Italy, and the "Strategic Project of the Year" award presented to the ACP during the Sixth Latin American Leadership Forum.


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