The cracks detected in the third set of locks could delay the opening of the expanded Panama Canal set for April 2016, Reuters quoted Panama Canal Authority’s Deputy Administrator Manuel Benitez as saying.
Benitez said that the delays ”are likely” and that he is waiting for an update from Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), the consortium in charge of the construction of the third set of locks.
The cracks in the Cocoli Locks on the canal’s Pacific side had been detected last month, and the Panama Canal Authority said that it would not accept the project until all necessary repairs are conducted by GUPC.
The USD 5.8 billion project is now 93% complete, the Authority says. Once complete, the expanded Panama Canal will be able to accommodate Post-Panamax vessels, including container ships of up to 13,000 TEUs, more than doubling the existing maximum size of 5,000 TEU.
World Maritime News Staff