Panama Canal Expansion 96 Percent Complete
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced that the first-ever expansion of the 101-year old waterway is 96 percent complete.
An a recent industry briefing, ACP CEO Jorge L. Quijano indicated that locks reinforcements are scheduled to be completed mid-January 2016 which will be followed by the testing of locks reinforcements and additional testing.
In April, transit trial tests with a chartered vessel in the Atlantic locks will occur. A date for the expansion’s inauguration will be then be selected, expected to be in the second quarter of 2016.
Subsequently, the commercial opening date will be selected. The opening will be soon after the inauguration.
The ACP is building the expanded canal for the long haul, and quality and testing are critical, Quijano said. “We are very close. Only four percent remains to complete the project,” Quijano said. “An expansion of the Panama Canal has never been done and we should all feel very good about where we are today. After a successful year, we look forward to being able to provide the benefits of the new canal to our customers and the people of Panama.”
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