Panama Canal Expansion

Panama Canal Expansion

The Canal Expansion Program consisted in the building of two new Post-Panamax locks complexes, one in the Pacific and one in the Atlantic side of the Canal. Each lock has three chambers with water reutilization basins, lateral filling and emptying system and rolling gates.

The Pacific Post-Panamax lock has a north access channel with dry excavation of approximately 50 million cubic meters of material along 6.1 kilometers.

The expansion includes the dredging of both entrances to the canal (Atlantic and Pacific) as well as the widening and deepening of existing navigational channels in Gatun Lake and the deepening of Galliard Cut.

The project includes the increase of Gatun Lake’s maximum operating level by 45 centimeters to improve the canal water supply and draft dependability.

With the new locks, the expanded canal handles vessels up to 1,200 feet (366 meters) in length, 160 feet (49 meters) in beam, and 50 feet (15.2 meters) of draft in tropical fresh water. Panama Canal estimates with the expansion the new canal will double the current capacity to 600 million PC/UMS tons, and handle full container vessels of up to 13,000 TEU’s and other vessels of up to approximately 170,000 deadweight tons, with certain draft restrictions.

The Canal expansion benefits its users, Panama and world trade. In addition to augmenting the Canal capacity, it improves Canal services to the maritime industry and world trade flows, and facilitate the movement of goods between important markets. Likewise, the Canal expansion allows Panama to become the transportation logistics hub of America, thereby strengthening the all-water route through the Panama Canal.

This is how the expanded Panama Canal works

Source: Panama Canal