China state firms eye land around Panama Canal: waterway authority
Chinese state firms have expressed an interest to develop land around the Panama Canal, the chief executive of the vital trade thoroughfare said, underlining China's outward push into infrastructure via railways and ports around the world.
The Panama Canal Authority will officially open a tender to develop about 1,200 hectares of land - roughly the size of 1,200 football fields - around the waterway by the end of this year into a logistics park, after completing a five-year-long decontamination of the area, Chief Executive Jorge Quijano said.
"We have been talking to people here in
Quijano told Reuters on Monday ahead of a meeting with the canal's advisory
board in China .
China Communications Construction Corp (601800.SS: Quote)(1800.HK: Quote), its
subsidiary China Harbour Engineering Company and China Railway Group
(601390.SS: Quote)(0390.HK: Quote) have shown interest in the project, he
This comes at a time when
urging its companies to invest in infrastructure overseas as part of China 's
"One Belt, Beijing One Road"
initiative to improve global trade links.
"There are opportunities there, definitely for some of these Chinese companies to participate as a concessionaire, not just as a contractor to build something, but they can actually bid for the concession and then build," he said.
He did not say how much the authority expected to get by selling the concession to develop the land.
A floating gate is opening to the Chinese COSCO container vessel named Andronikos navigating through the Agua Clara locks during the first ceremonial pass through the newly expanded
in Agua Clara, on the outskirts of Colon
China Communications Construction, China Railway Group and COSCO did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Quijano said the canal authority will parcel out the land and grant concession agreements of up to 40 years, with the aim to develop infrastructure and buildings on land previously used by the
for target practice. United
Also up for grabs is an operating agreement for a roll-on, roll-off terminal near the canal, the tender for which will be put out in the middle of 2017, he said, adding the authority expected interest from Japan, China, Norway and South Korea.
He estimated the land and terminal would help bring in an annual revenue of "between $100-$125 million" after the first five years of operation. Overall, the
Canal is expected to bring in $2.8 billion in revenue
this year, he said.