The people of Panama approve the Canal expansion plans

Reference is made to INTERTANKO’s article published in Weekly NEWS No. 17/2006 dated 28 April 2006 on the announced expansion of the Panama Canal.


On 22 October the people of Panama overwhelmingly approved the expansion of the Panama Canal, which involves the construction of a new set of locks. One lock complex will be located on the Pacific side to the southwest of the existing Miraflores Locks. The other complex will be located on the Atlantic side to the east of the existing Gatun Locks. The new locks will be able to handle vessels 49 metres (160 feet) wide, 366 metres (1,200 feet) long, and 15 metres (50 feet) deep, with a cargo volume of up to 170,000 DWT (and 12,000 TEU).


INTERTANKO members may be interested to know that the project will not interfere with or disrupt current Canal traffic. During the construction process, no current lanes will be closed, and since all the construction sites are outside the waterway’s existing channels and operating areas, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is confident that no major transit delays will be caused by the expansion works.


It is anticipated by the ACP that the expansion could take 7-8 years to complete at a cost of USD 5.25 Billion.

Sources: Panama Canal Authority, Balboa; C. Fernie & Co., S.A. Cristobal


Contact: Gunnar A. Knudsen