THE PANAMA CANAL KEEPS GROWING

 

Friday, 1st of August 2014. The Autoridad of the Canal de Panamá (ACP) and the Consortium Grupos Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), (composed of the Spanish Sacyr Callehermoso, the Italian Salini-Impregilo, the Belgian Jan de Nul and the Panamanian Urban Construction), signed the contract’s variation that will be needed to complete the construction of the third set of locks of the Panama Canal, that’s to say the main intervention of the expansion project of the Central American canal that will double the capacity of the Panama Canal by 2015, allowing the transit of larger ships.

In fact, today, the current system of locks allows the transit of ships like the Panamax vessels, with a capacity of 4,400 TEUs, a maximum length of 294 meters, a maximum width of 32 meters and a draft of 12 meters; but thanks to the creation of the Third Set of Locks of the Canal vessels of greater tonnage called Post Panamax with a capacity of up to 12,000 TEUs, a length of 366 meters, a width of 49 meters, a draft of 15 meters will be able to transit.

The expansion project of the Panama Canal in addition to the widening and lowering of the bottom of the navigation channel, plans to construct two new locks, one each on the Atlantic and Pacific sides and  Each will have three watertight chambers with water-saving basins.

This expansion project will be financially profitable to Panama promoting the increase of the trade market thanks to the future transit of Post-Panamax in addition to an increase of employment.

The challenge between Panama and Nicaragua is still on, a challenge that seems to be at the very beginning!

 

 

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