PSA Panama International Terminal (PSA Panama) has started expansion works for phase two of its container terminal on the west bank of the Panama Canal.
After completion of works, PSA Panama will have an annual handling capacity of two million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of containers.
The terminal will feature 11 quay cranes with a maximum outreach of 24 rows, as well as more than 1.1km of berth to serve the shipping lines.
PSA International group CEO Tan Chong Meng said: "The groundbreaking ceremony today symbolises PSA’s continuing commitment towards the vision of developing Panama into a hub for the region.
"We will develop PSA Panama International Terminal into a world-class facility that can support the growing container traffic as the Panama Canal expands, and contribute to the development of the local economy and growth in employment."
The terminal expansion was previously approved by National Assembly, ACP, AMP and the Panamanian State.
It is expected to start operations before the end of 2016, which will be in conjunction with the commercial opening of the expanded Panama Canal.
Republic of Panama President Juan Carlos Varela said: "The Government of the Republic of Panama will continue to work closely with PSA Panama International Terminal and we are sure that when the expansion of the container terminal ends, our country will have state of the art facilities to serve container ships with a capacity of 18,000 containers (TEU)."
The present expansion of Panama Canal will create a new lane of traffic along the canal through the construction of a new set of locks, enhancing the waterway’s capacity.
It is expected to double the canal’s capacity, having a direct impact on economies of scale and international maritime trade.