Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Panama Canal expansion approaches halfway point
According to the Panama Canal Authority, the expansion is reaching its halfway mark. As of August 31, the progress toward total completion of the project was estimated at 44.5 percent.
"The Panama Canal Expansion Program is moving forward at a good pace" said Panama Canal Administrator and CEO Jorge Quijano.
Three of the four dry excavation projects have been finished, and the fourth project was 67 percent through as of the beginning of September. The dredging of the Pacific and Atlantic entrances almost done and the dredging of the Gatun Lake is 76 percent complete.
About a third of the work has been done on locks design and construction. The locks gates are being manufactured in Italy and the first four gates will be shipped to Panama during the first quarter of 2013, and the last four gates should arrive during the first quarter of 2014.
Concurrently valves are being manufactured in Korea and valve components are being incorporated into the lock structure. The contractor is set to complete the main lock structure and begin pre-commissioning tests during the first quarter of 2014, and the flooding of the locks and final commissioning will begin in September 2014.
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