Members of the Panama Canal Authority Board of Directors and Administration returned to Panama after having travelled to Asia for the 24th joint meeting of its Advisory Board.
The delegation met in Japan with the group of distinguished advisers to discuss Canal operations and performance, progress on the Expansion Program, training programs and future projects that will enhance the reliable service offered by the expanded Canal. The meeting was especially pertinent now that the Panama Canal expansion project has reached 88% completion and is now entering the final construction phase. Upon completion, the two new lock complexes will have a total of 16 gates, eight in the Pacific and eight in the Atlantic. The expansion project is due for completion in December 2015.
The Panama Canal Authority Board of Directors were encouraged by the discussions held and the Canal’s progress-to-date. Currently, all eight gates on the Atlantic side have been installed.
Later, the Panama Canal Authority Board of Directors and Administration travelled to China for a series of meetings with the senior management of its major waterway customers including Cosco Container Lines, Hutchinson, Dredging Shanghai, China Shipping, China Harbour Company and ZPMC Business Engineering DP, among others.
Composed of Panamanian and non-Panamanian citizens, the Panama Canal Authority Advisory Board was established to serve as a consultative body for the Canal and to provide guidance to the Board of Directors and the Canal Administration on maritime industry developments and related activities.
The Advisory Board, which meets once or twice a year, alternately in Panama and a city most convenient for its members, is chaired by William A O’Neil, Secretary General Emeritus of the International Maritime Organization who was elected first Chairman of the Board in 1999 and re-elected thereafter by unanimous vote.
The Panama delegation was led by the Chairman of the Board and Minister of Canal Affairs, Roberto Roy and Panama Canal Administrator and CEO Jorge L Quijano.