Panama City, Panama. September 25, 2012. – Five years ago, the Panama Canal Expansion broke ground at Paraiso Hill and as of August 31, 2012 the program´s advance was estimated at 44.5%.
“The Panama Canal Expansion Program is moving forward at a good pace. The program has made positive contributions to Panama´s economy such as direct employment, investments, knowledge and technological transfer,” said Panama Canal Administrator/CEO Jorge L. Quijano.
To date, three of the four dry excavation projects have been completed and the 4th project reached 67% through August 31. The dredging of the Pacific and Atlantic entrances and of the Gatun Lake are advancing as scheduled with progress reaching 92%, 98%, and 76% respectively.
The locks design and construction has reached 31%. The locks gates are being fabricated in Italy and the first four gates should be shipped to Panama during the first quarter of 2013. The last four gates should be in Panama in the first quarter of 2014. Concurrently the valves are being fabricated in Korea and delivery of valve components to Panama has been ongoing for some time now and are being incorporated into the lock structure. The contractor is expected to complete the main lock structure and begin precommissioning tests in the dry during the first quarter of 2014, with flooding of the locks and final commissioning then planned to start in September 2014.
The Panama Canal Authority is closely monitoring progress on every component of the Expansion Program to guarantee that contractors comply with the quality required by each contract.
About the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)
The ACP is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the ACP is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please visit http://www.pancanal.com/. You can also follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/thepanamacanal.