Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

Panama Canal Expansion


Photo courtesy of the Panama Canal Authority.

Excavation of new channels and lock sites at the Panama Canal is now considered more than 50 percent complete with the project expected to be finished by mid-2015.

Expansion of the Panama Canal by the dredging of new channels and the construction of new locks is moving forward, with the project now considered over 50 percent complete. Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano said dredging of new navigational channels at both ends of the canal, as well as within Gaillard Cut, has been finished while remaining deepening work in Gatun Lake will be completed before the end of the year. In the meantime, the first shipment of 47 valves, to be used for the operation of the third set of locks, has arrived and additional shipments are on the way.

The valves, built in South Korea by Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, are part of the Post-Panamax locks’ electro/mechanical system and will regulate water flow between the lock chambers, culverts and multiple water-saving basins being built adjacent to the locks. By the end of the year a total of 158 valves and 84 bulkheads will have arrived for the project. “We estimate, based on the progress, that we can begin commercial transits mid-2015”, said Quijano.


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