PANAMA CITY, Panama, July 7, 2009 – Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta will receive the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 2008 “International Maritime Prize,” the highest award in the maritime industry. The IMO, a specialized agency of the United Nations, comprised of 169 countries, decided to grant the prestigious award to Mr. Alemán Zubieta during the 102nd session of the IMO Council held July 6. The Prize is awarded annually to an individual who promotes cooperation in the areas of regulation and practices related to the objectives of the IMO.

The Government of Panama submitted the candidature of Mr. Alemán Zubieta to IMO Secretary-General Mr. Efthimios Mitropoulos, who circulated the nomination to all members of the IMO. Mr. Alemán Zubieta’s leadership and contribution to maritime safety and prevention of marine pollution were highlighted. The nomination also recognizes Mr. Alemán Zubieta’s successful management of the Canal and its Expansion Program, which currently remains on-track and on-budget.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award by the International Maritime Organization,” said Mr. Alemán Zubieta. “I, and the 9,000 hard workers at the Panama Canal Authority, appreciate this recognition for our accomplishments. The ACP has undergone a pivotal transformation since the handover in 1999 and, as we look to the future with an expanded Canal, we remain steadfastly resolved to our commitment to excellence.”

Under the supervision of Mr. Alemán Zubieta, the ACP has received numerous international honors for its efficient management of the Canal and its expansion. In fact, the Canal’s Expansion Program has received 12 awards to date, including the 2009 International Logistics and Material Handling Exhibition’s “Best International Project” award, the Samoter award for “Best Construction Project in the World” and “Best Long Term Performance Project” last year in Italy, and the “Strategic Project of the Year” award presented to the ACP during the Sixth Latin American Leadership Forum.

About the International Maritime Prize
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council, comprised of representatives from 40 countries, awards the International Maritime Prize annually to the individual or organization that has made the most significant contribution to the work and objectives of the IMO. The winner of the Prize is presented with the award at a special ceremony and invited to write a paper on a subject related to the Organization’s objectives and work for publication by the IMO. The paper is published in the IMO’s quarterly magazine, IMO News.

About the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)
The ACP is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the ACP is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the ACP’s Web site: http://www.pancanal.com/.