Friday, September 12, 2014

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Completion of Panama Canal expansion pushed to 2016

Photo credit: Carlos Jasso/Reuters

Tests with ships will begin in mid-2015 on a new set of locks that are key to the expansion of the Panama Canal, which is expected to be complete by January 2016, according to the canal's chief administrator.

The expansion, which involves building a third set of locks onto the 50-mile waterway, was originally supposed to be finished this year, but has been delayed several times, in part due to a dispute in early 2014 over $1.6 billion in cost overruns.

On Sunday, Panama Canal Administrator Jorge Quijano said the locks would likely be ready, by April or May of next year.

"We hope to start a series of tests with the locks next year in the month of July or August," said Quijano after overseeing the arrival from Italy of a shipment of four new gates for the locks.

The 100-year-old canal, which is major global trade artery, is in the midst of a massive expansion to will allow the globe’s largest tankers to traverse the isthmus.

For more of the Reuters story:

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