PANAMA CITY Ė The Panama Canal Authorityís budget will increase by 6 percent to $3.03 billion in the next fiscal year, which starts on Oct. 1, the Panamanian Council of Ministers said.
The canal is projected to handle a record 429.4 million tons of cargo on more than 13,000 crossings, including 2,335 transits by Neopanamax vessels.
A canal expansion program was carried out between 2007-2016 at an initial cost of $5.25 billion, the centerpiece of which was a new third set of locks that allow the canal to accommodate modern Neopanamax ships.
Under the proposed fiscal year 2018 budget, the canal will make $1.65 billion in direct payments and $225 million in indirect payments to the Treasury, the government said in a statement.
Revenues from tolls are projected to rise by $60.4 million, thanks to an increase of 30.2 million tons in transits by CP/SUAB 97 vessels.
The canal authority also expects energy sales to total $95.6 million and drinking water sales to come in at $35.5 million.
The Panama Canal handles roughly 6 percent of world trade, linking more than 140 maritime routes and 1,700 ports in 160 countries, the Panama Canal Authority said.