In its first month of operation, the Panama Canal’s new neopanamax locks recorded a total of 55 vessel transits, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has revealed.
Of the 55 vessels to make the transit, there were 29 containerships, 22 LPG tankers, two “carriers”, and two LNG carriers. Looking ahead, the ACP said it has received reservations for more than 229 vessels.
“We are totally satisfied with what we have seen during the first month of operation of the expanded Canal,” said Canal Administrator Jorge Luis Quijano.
Quijano clarified that to date there has been only one official incident in the new locks, despite reports to the contrary. The incident occurred July 21 when a 8,500 TEU containership belonging to China COSCO Shipping made contact with one of the walls at Agua Clara Locks, causing a gash in the ship’s hull. The incident did not interrupt traffic through the lock or the Canal. The ACP added that it has not received a claim related to the incident.
“The third set of locks is Panama’s response to the needs of an increasingly demanding maritime industry, and symbolizes the new paradigm of sustainable growth,” Quijano said.
The $5.3 billion Panama Canal expansion project was inaugurated June 26, 2016.
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