PSA-Panama International Terminal began operations this December 23 with the arrival of the 12,777dwt 138m-long Beluga Festival carrying 10,000 tonnes of steel bars from Mexico’s Arcelor-Mitral for the GUPC consortium in charge of building the new locks for the Panama Canal expansion. Both PPSA-Panama gm Tan Toi Chia and GUPC’s director- general Antonio Zaffaroni were on quay to receive the vessel.
The terminal is built on a 22-hectare property, with a 14-hectare container yard, a 330m-long container and roll on-roll off berth and 14.5m draught. It will be equipped with three 18-row across quay cranes and six RTGs due to arrive early 2011.
PSA-Panama is located at the former Rodman US Navy base on the Western side of the Panama Canal Pacific entrance. The 450,000teus terminal, PSA’s first foray in the Americas and the first terminal in Panama to begin operations in the last 15 years, was a green field project and will be the fifth major container terminal in the country.
PSA International Pte Ltd handled 56.9M teus in 2009. It operates 28 ports in 16 countries with a global capacity of 111Mteus over 66km of quays. The group is also present in Latin America after having bought in 2008 a share in Exolgan, the scond largest terminal of Buenos Aires.