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Live From Sea Asia 2017

More water needed for Panama Canal before plans for fourth set of locks

More water needed for Panama Canal before plans for fourth set of locks
The Panama Canal Authority is currently focused on securing more water resources for the artificial 77km waterway dug through the Isthmus of Panama, in order to support a grander plan in future on building a fourth set of locks, according to the authority’s ceo Jorge Quijano.

The canal’s third set of locks went into operation 10 months ago, allowing containerships of up to 14,000 teu to transit. But with containership sizes going bigger to slightly above 20,000 teu, further expansion could be needed.

“Based on the studies we have done thus far, we will need more water if we want to go into the fourth set of locks,” Quijano told Seatrade Maritime News in an interview on the sidelines of the Sea Asia 2017 conference on Wednesday.

“We will also first work on other improvements to the waterways such as widening the channels on the canal entrances and some parts in the middle so we can have a two-way traffic for neo-panamaxes. Hence we have to do a few other steps before we get into the fourth set of locks,” Quijano shared.

“Demand will also tell us when we have to do this.”

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