Flooding of Panama Canal’s Third Set of Locks About to Begin

Grupo Unidos por el Canal, S.A. (GUPC), the main contractor responsible for the design and construction of the Panama Canal’s third set of locks, is scheduled to open this week the five valves that will mark the beginning of the process of flooding of the new locks on the Atlantic side.

According to GUPC’s project manager, José Peláez, five million cubic meters of water will be used to fill the two first chambers . The flooding is expected to last approximately four days.

Once the gates are flooded, GUPC will start testing the first two gates, Peláez added.

GUPC said that the flooding of each lock can take about three to four months. Flooding of the Atlantic gates will be followed by a similar process on the Pacific side.

The third set of locks is 85 % complete and the project is now focused on electro-mechanical installations laying the groundwork for finishing touches to ensue.

Upon completion, the two new lock complexes will have a total of 16 gates, eight in the Pacific and eight in the Atlantic.

The USD 5.2 billion expansion project is slated for completion in December 2015.

World Maritime News Staff

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