14 October 2008

Torrijos Says Panama Secures $2.3 Billion for Canal Expansion

By Nathan Gill
     Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Panamanian President Martin Torrijos
said the country reached agreements with international lenders,
such as the Inter-American Development Bank, for $2.3 billion in
financing to expand capacity of the Panama Canal.
     Panama will borrow $500 million from the European Investment
Bank, $800 million from the Japan Bank for International
Cooperation, $400 million from the IDB, $300 million from the
International Finance Corp. and $300 million from the Andean
Development Corp., Torrijos said in a statement distributed today
by the canal authority.
     The authority last year announced a five-year, $5.25 billion
plan to add a third set of locks that will enable the canal to
handle bigger ships.
     The loans reflect ``a lot of trust and confidence,'' in the
project, Alberto Aleman, chief executive of the Panama Canal
Authority, said in a conference call today from Panama.