The third shipment of four gates for the new locks of the Panama Canal Expansion has arrived to the Atlantic entrance of the waterway.
The four gates were delivered on Sunday by the Post-Panamax vessel Xia Zhi Yuan 6, owned by COSCO Ocean Shipping. The shipment began its journey from Trieste, Italy on August 17 before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to reach the entrance of the Panama Canal, where they will be unloaded onto a special temporary dock.
Only one shipment is left to receive all 16 gates required for the Third Set of Locks project.
These gates will be used in the new locks at the Pacific side of the Canal.
Two of the gates are 57.6 m long, 10 m wide and 31.92 m high, and weigh 4,163 tons each. These are the heaviest of the 16 rolling gates to be used in the expanded Canal.
The other two gates are 57.6 m long, 8 m wide and 22.3 m high, and weigh 2,867 tons each.
The construction of the gates began in October 2011 by subcontractor Cimolai SpA. The new locks will have a total of 16 rolling gates (eight for each new lock complex). Unlike the current Canal, which uses miter gates, the expanded Canal will have rolling gates.
The first gate shipment arrived in Panama on August 20, 2013 and the second on June 10, 2014. The final shipment is expected to arrive in January 2015.
Grupo Unidos por el Canal, S.A. (GUPC) is the contractor for the Design and Construction of the Third Set of Locks. All gates must be in Panama by February 2015, as agreed between the ACP and the contractor.
The Panama Canal Expansion is 79 percent complete. It involves the construction of a third lane of traffic allowing the passage of bigger vessels, which will double the Canal’s capacity and have an important impact on world maritime trade.
Press Release, September 8, 2014