News Release

10th July 2002

Ground Breaking for the Phase III of Balboa Container Terminal


[Panama- 10th July 2002] Panama Ports Company, S.A. (PPC), announces the starts of construction works of the Phase III of Balboa Container Terminal development project.

The ground working ceremony took place with the presence of the Vice President of the Republic of Panama Mr. Arturo Vallarino who pointed out ” Today is one of those days when we renew the optimism and make us look with hope at the future of our nation. With the start of the expansion works at the Port of Balboa we provide a new drive to the economic activity of the country.”

PPC will invest 200 million US dollars in the expansion of its container handling facilities at the Port of Balboa. Located on the pacific side of the Republic of Panama, the strategic location of Balboa has made it a transhipment hub for one of the world’s largest container carrier.

After completion of Phase III, the Balboa Container Terminal will provide 840 metres of quay, 12.9 metres of draft, 15.4 hectares of container yard equipped with 8 Super post Panamax quay cranes, 21 Rubber Tyred Gantry Cranes and 864 reefer plugs, for an annual total handling capacity of 1 million TEUs.

“The Hutchison Group is strongly committed to the Republic of Panama and its maritime industry and it has always been our intention to establish Balboa as one of the largest hub ports on the Pacific coast of the Americas”, pointed out Mr. John E. Meredith, Group Managing Director of Hutchison Port Holding and President of PPC who also said in regards to Phase III of Balboa development “This is not the end of the story however further phases will be constructed in the future to meet demand.”

Commenting on the customers expected for the expanded facilities Mr. Alejandro Kouruklis, General Manager of PPC said, “We would like to thanks our clients for their trust in the service we provide at our facilities, we are sure that with these expansion works more shipping lines will call at Balboa for the benefit of the whole country.”