The expansion of the Panama Canal will not be ready for its 100th anniversary on August 15 as initially hoped by canal authorities.
Aimed now to be completed by June 2015, the project was proposed in 2006, began in 2007 and has cost so far US$ 6.5 billion, Newsweek reported.
Connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean, the canal currently uses locks in which water flows by gravity and raises ships 26 metres (85 feet) above sea level. Ships can then travel through artificial lakes and channels until they reach another set of locks leading to the sea on the other side.
The expansion of the canal will feature new sets of locks that will allow the 81-km-long channel to accommodate even bigger vessels.
The new locks will be larger but use less water than the existing ones. Basins next to them will recycle water from the locks as they are emptied, and use this water to partially refill the locks when another ship passes through. Water from the canal’s lakes will also be used to fill the new locks.
The new locks will be able to handle ships that are longer, taller and wider. Per-ship cargo capacity will nearly triple, from the current roughly 4,500 standard-container limit to roughly 12,000 standard containers.
These changes will make the Panama Canal more competitive with the alternative Suez Canal route, which can currently accommodate much larger ships
The Panama began operating in in 1914. It cost about US$420 million and took 40 years to complete.
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I seem to be missing something: the lake is 26m higher than the entering/exiting canals, what prevents the lake from running dry if it constantly adds water to the locks? Or is the water pumped back into the lake?
they actually try to do this, but it was imposible because of the terrain. there where to many mountains and big rocks etc. so the cheapest way and most efficient way to do it was by making an artificial lake witch they had to make a smaller hall then going all the way down to sea leve. then building the system explane in the video. the first company that try to make the panama canal was from France and they ran out of money after only completing 10% of the canal. when the Americans took over the project they had to change the way it was going to be build if not they would have fell as well. any other question just ask :) just a good Panamanian loving his country!
It wouldn't be any larger than those mega-freighters; in fact smaller measured by deadweight tonnage. The last US fleet carriers that could transit the old locks were the Essex class, IIRC. Midway class ships retrofitted with angled flight decks were too wide. There was also going to be a BATTLESHIP class called the Montana class that would have too much beam. It would have carried 12 of the Iowa class's 16 in/50 cal [barrels 50 times 16in] guns but with more armor and slower top speed.
Way to go President Carter. "Ships have outgrown the Canal, we are relinquishing control of this vital waterway to Panama." The Panamanians had no idea how to build it or the resources to do it. We should have kept control of it and expanded it. Manuel Noriega sure enjoyed it's revenues.
extremely expensive to dig canal 81 km, 100 mtr depth 100 mtr width. if constructed there will be ecological impact in region like salty ground watet will distroy forest and natural habitants.Ocean currents will change which may lead to climatic imbalances
The safety aspect relates to the need for tugs both fore & aft to steer these neopanamax vessels through the locks. The new locks can't fit two tugs and a vessel longer than 366 metres in the locks.
basically it fits, since the emma and triple e are 400 meters long and 52 meters wide, and the canal is 425 meters long and 55 meters wide, but for safety reasons they decided not to let in ships longer and wider than 366 meters, 50 meters wide
Mi chiarisci un dubbio tecnico,vedo la terza vasca abbassare il livello acque per innalzare la seconda vasca,giusto il principio del nostro Archimede,ma
e sbagliata l'applicazione.
Esatto è usare (con due tubazioni separate)l'acqua del lago e aggiungerne solo
alla prima vasca a spingere la nave in alto e poi a seguire,l'acqua di spinta deve passare a scendere del lago nelle tubazioni e a salire nelle vasche.
A circolo chiuso,sistema veloce(due navi a salire/scendere,una alla prima vasca e una alla quarta)e non mischia le acque dei mari con le acque del lago.
Sorry, I'm sure you are wrong. These massive vessels need at least two tugs, one fore & one aft, to transit the locks. So though the lock basins are 425 metres long, the maximum length of vessels that can use them is 366 metres.
So the MV Barzan and the Maersk E Series, eight in that class, are just too long.
My opinion of the canal expansion is that it is a marvelous achievement. Credit goes first and last to the Panamanian people.
Sure they used foreign contractors, they had no choice, but this most important maritime transit hub will be staffed mainly by Panamanians, and this expansion ensures the security of the nation for generations to come.
"With the new Panama Canal every ship can get through"
Not quite. The container vessel MV Barzan, the first of six of its class, can't use the new locks. At 400 metres long, it & two tugs can't fit into the new locks. It's 34 metres too long. But this doesn't matter because they are only designed for journeys between Asia & Europe, & they can use the Suez Canal.
For the largest vessels the canal can now handle it costs somewhere around $1.5 million, maybe more, I was calculating based on 2013 prices. Good news for Panama, but also economic for the vessel operators.
+Purple Fairy Some ships can pay upwards of 200k dollars US for a one way trip threw the canal, probably even more for the new larger ships on the new locks, definitely not free, but better then spending 4 weeks traveling around South America.