PANAMA CITY, Panama, May 19 2008 – Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta travelled to San Juan, Puerto Rico to attend the 8th Annual Mega Friday Civil 2008 Summit and address a crowd of more than 600 leaders from the civil engineering field on the Panama Canal Expansion Program. Hosted by the Institute of Civil Engineers (IIC), the summit serves as an opportunity for Mr. Alemán Zubieta to speak with members from the local industry and academic community on the benefits expansion will bring to Panama, the United States and the world.

“As the world becomes more interconnected, the significance of the Panama Canal and its function in the global supply chain become more vital,” said Mr. Alemán Zubieta. “As the top user of the Canal, the United States depends on the waterway as a means to facilitate trade and stimulate economic growth. I am excited to share progress made on the Expansion Program and what it represents as one of the most important global infrastructure projects.”

The theme for Mega Friday Civil 2008 was "Engineering Development: Model Change," and included presentations and educational seminars on the latest trends and technology in global transportation. Invited by the IIC to speak at the conference, Mr. Alemán Zubieta conversed with leaders and organizations in the private sector, government and non-profit communities on the impending growth of international trade and how advancements in the technological sciences will ensure Puerto Rico and Panama continue their roles as access points for businesses expanding into the Latin American market.
The summit marks the end of the Administrator's two-day visit to the United States, which included a presentation at the Macquire Global Infrastructure Conference in New York City on Thursday, May 15. Both events served as forums for the Canal Administrator to outline the different elements of the expansion project and how innovation in both engineering and infrastructure development will continue the waterway's progress.

“The Canal’s Expansion Program is the most historic project to date for Panama and the Latin American region,” said Mr. Alemán Zubieta. “The ACP expects Puerto Rico and the other important ports in the Caribbean and Latin American region to benefit from the increased trade volumes expansion will bring.”

In 2007, 38,000 tons transited the Canal originating from Puerto Rico and 1,042,466 tons went through the Canal with Puerto Rico as a final destination. When completed, expansion will allow the transit of longer, wider ships and will double the Canal’s tonnage capacity.

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: