The Panama Canal yesterday tested the first rolling gate at its recently filled Atlantic locks, dubbed Agua Clara Locks, positioned in the vicinity of the existing Gatun Locks.
Each lock chamber has three water-saving basins, which will reuse 60 percent of the water in each transit. There are a total of nine basins for each of the two lock complexes.There are a total of 16 rolling gates required for the new locks (eight on each complex).
The Canal has a total of 18 basins. Each water-saving basin is approximately 70 meters wide by 5.50 meters deep. Lock chambers are 427 meters (1,400 feet) long by 55 meters (180 feet) wide, and 18.3 meters (60 feet) deep.
The gates have different dimensions depending on their location in the lock chamber. They are all 57.60 m long, 8-10 m wide, and the height depends on the location but between the shortest one is 22.30 meters and the lowest one is 33.04 m height depending on the chamber.
The gates weight on average 3,200 tons. However, since they have different sizes, weight can range from 2,100 tons to as much as 4,200 tons. The gates also have buoyancy tanks that allow them to weigh 15% of their actual weight inside the water-filled new locks.
This is another milestone for the Panama Canal Expansion project this week, following the start of the filling of Canal’s Pacific locks.
World Maritime News Staff