The largest infrastructure project since the waterway’s original construction, the Panama Canal expansion programme will create a new lane of traffic along the Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, doubling the waterway’s capacity.
The new locks will have three chambers, water-saving basins, lateral filling and emptying system and rolling gates.
The existing locks allow the passage of vessels that can carry up to 5000 TEUs. After the expansion the post-Panamax vessels will be able to transit through the Canal, with up to 13 000 TEUs. The expansion will double the Canal’s capacity, having a direct impact on economies of scale and international maritime trade.
The expansion is based on six years of research, which included more than 100 studies on the economic feasibility, market demand, environmental impact and other technical engineering aspects. Works on the Panama Canal expansion began on September 2007 at a total cost of US$5.2 billion.
The widened lanes will be able to accommodate the increasing traffic of LNG carriers.
Written by Katie Woodward
Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/lng-shipping/20052015/panama-canal-expansion-may-2015-update/