• Aerial view of Port of Balboa in Panama
  • Aerial view of Port of Balboa in Panama
  • Aerial view of Port of Balboa in Panama
  • Port of Balboa Panama
  • cargo ship in Port of Balboa
  • cargo area in Port of Balboa
  • aerial view of Port of Balboa
  • aerial view of Port of Balboa
  • Port of Balboa Panama
  • aerial view of Port of Balboa
  • Port of Balboa Panama
Port of Balboa becomes major hub at Panama Canal

The Port of Balboa is situated at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal. The Panama Ports Company (PPC) operates the port, handling general and bulk cargo as well as container cargo transshipments. The company is a division of Hutchison Ports Holdings, the world’s largest independent port operator.

Challenge
The Port of Balboa was projected to grow and needed to be transformed into a major hub serving Pacific trade routes. In turn, the PPC decided to undertake an ambitious expansion program.

Solution
Louis Berger and BergerABAM were engaged to help the PPC craft an innovative design-build program to accelerate terminal development. The project included a new 450-meter-long berthing wharf and 35-hectare container yard.

The development also included:

  • Dredging to bedrock and filling the 15-hectare areas behind Piers 16 and 17 with reclaimed materials and installing a 20-meter-high rock retaining dyke.
  • Excavating new channels for the Maria Salas and Curundu rivers and removing eight sunken vessels.
  • Creating a civil works package to pave and develop the filled area and install utilities.
  • Designing and supervising the construction of new infrastructure to convert all diesel eRTGs to electric, generating significant savings for the port.

Upon completion, the PPC more than doubled its throughput capacity. The port can now accommodate multiple post-Panamax ships at the dock and has 1,700 meters of quay, 22 super post-Panamax cranes, 57 rubber tyred gantry cranes and a container capacity of over 4 million twenty-foot equivalent units annually.