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Milestones for Panama Canal expansion

June has been an important month for the Panama Canal expansion project, with several milestones reached.
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The project has moved forward with the filling of the locks on the Atlantic side and the rolling gate’s first operational tests.

The filling of the locks began in early June in the lower chamber on the Atlantic side. To fill the locks, five pipes with 0.9m diameter allowed 50,000 cu metres water to flow in from Gatan Lake, at 9 inches/hour. A similar process was performed last week on the Pacific side.

The test on one of the heaviest rolling gates was carried out successfully on the Atlantic side. The first operational test, which integrated mechanical and electrical systems, as well as positioning speed sensors, allowed verification of position data, weight and buoyancy. 

An identical process will take place on each of the other eight gates from the new locks on the Atlantic side.

“My team and I are very proud of the significant progress we have reached in the last month. As we approach the finalisation of expansion programme, we will have materialised one of the most important engineering pieces in the world – not only because of its complexity, by also because of the benefits it will provide to the global maritime community,” said executive vice president of engineering and programme management, Ilya de Marotta.
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