- Alabama State Port Authority Posts Record Gains
- Orpic Logistics Wins Muscat Sohar Pipeline EPC Contract
- Vestas to Supply Kenya’s Lake Turkana Wind Project
- Collett Moves Historic Vehicles
- Chevron to Exit Ukraine Shale Project
- Plummeting Oil Prices Prompt Layoffs at Halliburton
- CB&I Hoists Module at VC Summer Nuclear Plant (Video)
- Venture Global LNG to Start Construction of Export Facilities in 2016
- Portlog Moves Oil Rig for Pemex
- Last Gate Arrives at Panama Canal
- Alstom to Upgrade Kwinana Gas Turbine
- Salini Impregilo to Build Tunnel in Ohio
- Toshiba to Build ITOCHU Mega-Solar Plant
- Kentz Scores Shell Pearl GTL Contract
- Jumbo to Install Wheatstone Subsea Structures
Panama Eyes Fourth Set of Locks
Panama considers further expansion to accommodate Super Post-Panamax ships
The Panama Canal Authority is studying the construction of a fourth set of new locks, parallel to the third set of locks presently under construction as part of a US$5.2 billion expansion project. The plans were unveiled at AAPA’s Latin America Congress of Ports held last week in Bogata, Colombia.
“We are looking at the demand and demand is what [will] rule [the project],” Rodolfo Sabonge, executive vice president of commercial planning and development for the PCA, said during a presentation. “Size will matter.”
The current Panama Canal expansion is due to be completed in June 2015. It consists of two new sets of locks, one on the Pacific and one on the Atlantic side of the Canal, as well as widening and deepening of navigational channels in Gatun Lake and the deepening of Culebra Cut. The expansion will accommodate larger post-panamax vessels, but it won’t allow for the passage of Super Post-Panamax ships.
The fleet of Super Post-Panamax ships was 3 percent in 2013 in terms of cargo units and will grow to 9 percent by 2016, Sabonge said.
Meanwhile, Nicaragua has announced its intentions to build its own transoceanic canal. At an estimated cost of US$40 billion, Nicaragua’s canal would be wider and longer than the Panama Canal, and big enough for the largest vessels. Ronald MacLean Abaroa, an adviser to HKND, the Chinese firm that will build the canal, was quoted by La Paz as saying, “Nicaragua will become by far the richest country in Central America.” Nicaragua’s plan includes building ports, an airport, pipeline and a railway. Work should begin in May 2014 after a feasibility study is completed, Abaroa said.