About 52 percent of the Neopanamax vessels that have crossed the expansion of the Panama Canal, which has been operating since June 2016, are container ships, the administration of the interoceanic highway reported today.
Container ships are followed by liquefied petroleum gas vessels, with 27 percent of the transits, while those of liquefied natural gas, a new segment that was opened as of the start of the expansión operation, accounted for 10 percent.
"Other vessels that have used the new locks are dry and liquid bulk carriers, vehicle carriers and cruise ships," added the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) in a public statement, which highlights that on Sunday neopanamax number 4,000 went through the expansion.
On Sunday, the Canal administrator, Jorge Quijano, celebrated the 4,000th neopanamax transit through the expansion with a message on Twitter, and thanked the 10,000 workers of the interoceanic highway for this new milestone.
It was the liquefied natural gas vessel Maria Energy, which completed the transit traveling south from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, the ACP said Monday.
It added that on Sunday, together with Maria Energy, another liquefied natural gas vessel, Maran Gas Alexandria, transited through the neopanamax locks to the south.
Both vessels were loaded at the Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas export facility of Cheniere Energy in Louisiana, United States, the
ACP said, which passes about 6 percent of world trade.
"The constant increase in the transits of neopanamax reflects our customers confidence in the expanded Canal (...) this reaffirms the
value and impact that the route has had on the world maritime trade," said Quijano in the official information provided this Monday.
The expansion of the Canal began to be built in 2007 with a global cost of 5,250 million dollars, an amount that has risen by at least
373.3 million dollars for the payment of contractors claims.
The United Group for the Canal (GUPC), led by the Spanish Sacyr and integrated by Impregilo (Italy), Jan De Nul (Belgium) and CUSA (Panama), built the new locks with a contract signed in 2009 for 3.118 million dollars , although it has raised to arbitration claims amounting to 5,393 million dollars, according to ACP data.
The ACP presented a budget for fiscal year 2018-2019 amounting to 3,239.5 million dollars, higher than the 3,037.5 million that is
currently in force, and in which direct contributions to the National Treasury for 1,736.6 million dollars, 77 million more than the current calculation, will be provided.