In the News from Panama

Group Picked to Build Panama Cruise Ship Terminal

A new cruise ship terminal on the Amador Causeway moved a big step forward last week, with the awarding of a contract to build the new facility.

A consortium formed by Belgium’s Jan de Nul and the Beijing-based China Harbour Engineering Co. won a $165.7 million contract to design, develop and build the cruise ship terminal on Perico Island, according to a report in Seatrade Cruise News.

“The AMP and the country will have a project that will be the jewel of the Pacific and will come to drive our national tourism,” the Panama Maritime Authority said in a statement.

The cruise ship terminal should also serve as a major driver for the development of Amador Causeway as the new tourism center for Panama. With spectacular waterfront location and proximity to downtown, Amador is getting a $300 million upgrade by the government, including roads, more recreation facilities and an expansion of the Frank Gehry-designed BioMuseo.

The consortium, named Cruceros del Pacifico, is expected to complete the cruise ship terminal in two years. The facility will be able to handle two ships of 360-meters in length and should be capable of serving as a home port for routes. The moorings will be deep enough to handle ships regardless of the tide conditions, according to the reports.

The terminal will also include parking spaces for 300 cars and an administration building with two hectares of green areas and paths.

Both construction companies are familiar with Panama. Jan de Nul built the third set locks of the Panama Canal and China Harbour, a subsidiary of  China Communications Construction, has been active in Panama for several years, including work on the Colon Container Terminal expansion.

The growing role of China in Panama is turning into a major driver for Panama’s economy. A few weeks ago the Panama government formally launched diplomatic ties to China, which should create many new business opportunities throughout Panama.