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Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Inspects Panama Canal Expansion Project

February 28, 2011

NR 11-02

CanalExpansionProjectTour
Chairman Lidinsky wth Senior Panama Canal Authority Engineer Luis Ferreria, Ana Maria Chong of the Authority’s Customer Relations Unit, and Ms. Heather Coble of the U.S. Embassy, Panama following a Tour of the 2014 Canal Expansion Project near the Miraflores Locks

Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr. returned earlier this month from an inspection tour of the 2014 Panama Canal Expansion project.

Chairman Lidinsky, at the invitation of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), visited the expansion works site just outside of Panama City following a briefing by the Canal’s Chief Engineer.

"I was most impressed at the new expansion work to date, which is on its 2014 completion target, as well as staying within its $5.2b budget," said Chairman Lidinsky. Following the tour he held a working meeting with Canal Administrator Alberto Alemán Zubieta and Vice President Rodolfo R. Sabonge. Topics covered included a review of global shipping following the 2009 recession and 2010 recovery, current canal transits impacting the United States waterborne commerce, trans-shipments from terminals located at both sides of the Canal, slow steaming, and the projected impact of the Canal expansion on United States east coast ports.

PanamaCanalAuthority
Panama Canal Authority Administrator Alberto Aleman Zubieta Welcomes Chairman Lidinsky for their Extended Discussions on the Canal’s Current Operations and Impact of the 2014 Expansion Project on US Waterborne Trade and American Ports

Prior to his leaving Panama, Chairman Lidinsky traversed the entire Canal by vessel, visited marine terminals, spoke with canal users, as well as meeting with United States Ambassador Phyllis M. Powers.

"My visit to this most hospitable country reaffirmed my belief that the Canal is operating at the highest level of efficiency and the ACP is to be commended for its efforts in keeping this vital artery of American maritime trade fully operational," Chairman Lidinsky concluded.

The Federal Maritime Commission has jurisdiction over all foreign waterborne commerce of the United States and specifically any Panama Canal surcharges that would be applied by ocean carriers on United States cargo interests.

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is the independent federal agency responsible for regulating the nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers, and the American consumer. The FMC’s mission is to foster a fair, efficient, and reliable international ocean transportation system while protecting the public from unfair and deceptive practices.