Panama, Sep 6 (Prensa Latina) The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) today announced an increase from six to seven in the transit of neo-panamax vessels through the new locks, starting on December 1.
'We Panamanians made a big investment in the enlargement and we must benefit as much as possible, because that way, the Canal will fulfill its constitutional responsibility of operating profitably and producing growing benefits for the country,' Canal Administrator Jorge Luis Quijano said.
He assured that the interoceanic waterway faces aggressive competitiveness, so it is forced to provide the reliability demanded by clients to attend to large volumes of cargo, whose transit will increase for the second time in the first two months of 2018.
Since its inauguration on June 26, 2016, the enlarged Canal has largely exceeded expectations for the first year of operations, whose prediction was an average of three to four neo-panamax vessels and ships of 8,000 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) a day.
In statements to reporters, Quijano explained that actions will be taken on the basis of the experience gained after the transit of more than 2,000 mega-vessels through the new locks, with total security and operational efficiency.
He noted that the measures will be accompanied by the completion of the project to widen a segment in the middle of the Canal to 305 meters, in addition to the installations of buoys and new transit lights to guarantee the safe passage of neo-panamax vessels.
Likewise, towboats will be used more efficiently for those kinds of ships to guarantee their security during operations.
Such actions aim to make better use of the installed capacity in the enlargement of the Canal to meet the growing demand from world trade and generate more revenues and benefits for the country.