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Web Alert: The Panama Canal Expansion will be inaugurated on 26 June 2016

News & Insights 30 March 2016

The inauguration of the Panama Canal Expansion has been scheduled for Sunday 26 June 2016

The inauguration of the Panama Canal Expansion has been scheduled for Sunday 26 June 2016.  The Panama Canal Expansion Project, also known as the Third Set of Locks Project, began in September 2007.  Completion was planned for 2014 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal.  However, the opening was delayed for various reasons including strikes and disputes between the administrator of the Panama Canal and the building consortium over costs.  In addition, last August a crack was discovered in the concrete sill no. 3 of the new Cocolí locks, on the Pacific side.  This has been repaired as confirmed by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) in February.  Completion levels are currently at 97%.
The Expansion is the largest project at the Canal since it was built in 1914.  At the moment, the Canal has two lanes and allows the passage of vessels that can carry up to 5,000 TEUs.  The expansion will add a new lane of traffic allowing the transit of Post - Panamax vessels with up to 13,000/14,000 TEUs.  This will effectively double the capacity of the Canal and have a significant impact on global shipping as it will be able to handle 97% of the world’s container shipping fleet.  However, it will not be able to handle the latest generation of 16,000 – 20,000 TEUs containerships.
The club also recently reported on the Panama Canal new draft restrictions on 30 March 2016.

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