ACP: Opening of Third Set of Locks Not Impacted by Cracks

Completion of Panama Canal’s Third Set of Locks project set for April 2016 should not be affected by the leaks discovered in the chambers of the new Cocoli Locks on the canal’s Pacific side, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said.

“At this time and based on preliminary evaluations, the project’s completion timeline as well as the expected date for commercial operation are not expected to change,” the ACP explained in a statement.

The project’s contractor Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) met with the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) on Saturday to assess the problem and talk solutions. However, details on the duration of the repairs to remove the leak, dubbed as “water filtration issues”, have not yet been disclosed.

The Panama Canal Authority said that it would not accept the project until all necessary repairs are conducted by the contractor.

Based on the recent assessment from the Canal Authority, the USD 5.8 billion project stood at 93 % completion rate.

In a separate announcement, ACP said that due to the rainfall in the Panama Canal watershed during the past few days, the Panama Canal was postponing the second draft restriction, which had been tentatively scheduled for 15 September 2015.

“However, the first maximum authorized transit draft restriction of 11.89m (39.0 feet) TFW, which had been announced previously, will still be implemented on 08 September 2015, and continue until further notice. Vessels arriving after this date with drafts over 11.89m (39.0 feet) TFW may be allowed to transit depending on the actual level of Gatun Lake at the time of transit,” the statement reads.

World Maritime News Staff

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