The Panama Canal Expansion Project

After installing the last lock of the Panama Canal expansion in April, it seems that the opening date of the “pharaonic work of this century” is getting closer. Please allow me to describe it like that because the truth is that I couldn´t find any other words to describe this Project.
The aim of this new post is to leave you a the photographs made ​​directly by Susana Sanchez, Export Adviser at VIPEX Consulting, on her last trip to Panama, as well as sharing with you a YouTube video about the expansion of the Canal.

Impressing, isn´t it? After watching the video, we would like to talk about some interesting information about the Canal.

Built in 1914 and managed by the United States until the 31st December of 1999 when it is transferred to Panama, the canal links the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and is considered one of the greatest engineering works of the world. Some people may think that it was built because there is a gap between the two oceans that the locks system help to level but that is far from reality. What happens in Panama is that to cross the isthmus, the vessels have to level up to 26 meters which is the level of Gatun Lake. It is an artificial lake created by the Chagres River, which flooded the ancient valley and created a huge area of ​​about 425 km2.

panama-canal-expansion-1panama-canal-expansion-3
The Panama Canal was designed for ships of 267 meters long and 28 meters wide, dimensions that nowadays are small for new vessels, which has lead to its expansion with the construction of a third set of locks of 427 m long and 55 wide, 40% longer and 64% wider than the current ones.
This will allow a new flow of traffic along the 80 km canal through the Atlantic and Pacific and multiplies its maximum sustainable capacity. These are the two navigation improvements of the renewed Canal.

  • The new locks will allow about 40 transits per day.
  • Size of vessels : the new locks will allow the passage of between 10 and 12 Panamax vessels, with a capacity of up to 14,000 containers, triple the current traffic, designed to fit the maximum dimensions for passage through the canal.

But it seems that after some controversy for budgetary issues, we will have to wait until April 2016 for the opening of international maritime traffic once the test phase after allowing the recent flood of new locks with 20 million m3 of water finishes.

The Panama Canal was designed for ships of 267 meters long and 28 meters wide, dimensions that nowadays are small for new vessels, which has lead to its expansion with the construction of a third set of locks of 427 m long and 55 wide, 40% longer and 64% wider than the current ones.
This will allow a new flow of traffic along the 80 km canal through the Atlantic and Pacific and multiplies its maximum sustainable capacity. These are the two navigation improvements of the renewed Canal.

• The new locks will allow about 40 transits per day.
• Size of vessels : the new locks will allow the passage of between 10 and 12 Panamax vessels, with a capacity of up to 14,000 containers, triple the current traffic, designed to fit the maximum dimensions for passage through the canal.

But it seems that after some controversy for budgetary issues, we will have to wait until April 2016 for the opening of international maritime traffic once the test phase after allowing the recent flood of new locks with 20 million m3 of wáter finishes.

panama-canal-expansion-11
Vessel passing throught Lake Gatun

Witness the passage of vessels from the existing Miraflores locks or from a boat on Lake Gatun, between vast emerald colors and gray work, the complexity of the work seems amazing: millions of cubic meters of land removed, tons of concrete used, sophisticated locks, mechanisms of filling and emptying of the locks, dredging and cuts, tugs and the careful planning that will encourage world trade to become even more powerful.
panama-canal-expansion-8

panama-canal-expansion-9

If you would like to find out more information, you can satisfy your curiosity visiting Wikipedia or the official website of the expansion of the canal.

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *

*