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Panama Canal receives third shipment of gates for expansion

Panama Canal receives third shipment of gates for expansion
The third shipment of four gates for the new locks of the Panama Canal expansion has arrived from Italy at the Atlantic entrance of the waterway,  onboard Cosco’s post-panamax vessel Xia Zhi Yuan 6.

The gates left Cimolai Shipyard, Trieste where they were built, on 17 August before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to reach the entrance of the Panama Canal, where they will be unloaded onto a special temporary dock.

Only one shipment is left to be received for all 16 gates required for the third set of locks project. These gates will be used in the new locks at the Pacific side of the Canal. Two of the gates are 57.6 m long, 10 m wide and 31.92 m high, and weigh 4,163 tonnes each. These are the heaviest of the 16 rolling gates to be used in the expanded Canal.

The other two gates are 57.6 m long, 8 m wide and 22.3 m high, and weigh 2,867 tonnes each.The construction of the gates began in October 2011 by subcontractor Cimolai SpA. The new locks will have a total of 16 rolling gates (eight for each new lock complex). Unlike the current Canal, which uses miter gates, the expanded Canal will have rolling gates.

The first gate shipment arrived in Panama on 20 August 20, 2013 and the second on 10 June 2014. The final shipment is expected to arrive in January 2015. Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) is the contractor for the design and construction of the third set of locks. All gates must be in Panama by February 2015, as agreed between the Panama Canal Authority and the contractor.

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