One year before its centenary, the Panama Canal prepares for upcoming reforms to expand it in order to continue to be the main maritime gateway between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, despite plans to open new interocean ways.
In its 99 years, the canal begins its expansion preparations, allowing, for 2015, to reach a transport capacity of 300 to 600 million tonnes a year, facing the prospect of having Guatemala and Nicaragua as competition in the medium term.
“(…) The Canal still has more capacity to expand, and we will deal with any competition,” said Jorge Quijano, the chief administrator of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), an autonomous entity.
Guatemala and Nicaragua recently announced the construction of oceanic canals in December and in 2014.
The Panama Canal, considered one of the greatest engineering works in the world, was opened in 1914 by the United States, that built and managed it until December 31, 1999, when it gave the control to the Central American country.