The Panama Canal Expansion Project
Iain Macneil, from locally-based firm Witherby Publishing Group, introduced the massive Expansion Project currently taking place in Panama.
The Panama Canal is one of the world's strategic waterways, however it was designed for ships that were anticpated in the early 20th century, and now limits the size of vessels that can make use of it.
A major expansion project is currently taking place. this includes the dredging of the navigation channels and raising the water level with Gatun Lake. The major construction works centres on three new locks at each end of the canal, each 427 metres long, 55 metres wide and 18.3 metres deep. Ships will use tugs to transit these new locks, and will recyle a large proportion of the water used, which is another limiting factor to use of the canal. Whilst the growth in overall vessel transits will be small, the new locks will facilitate the passage of significantly larger ships, particularly LNG carriers and container vessels.
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