Panama Canal Authority may finally meet deadline for expansion
The canal’s designers failed to anticipate the scale of the new generation of mega container vessels which are already too large to transit Panama. Instead, they are being deployed in all-water service in the Transpacific.
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The announcement was during the inauguration ceremony of the Canal’s “Scale Model Maneuvering Training Facility,” which will provide additional hands-on experience to pilots and tugboat captains to operate in the Expanded Panama Canal.
“The dream of Expansion will become a reality when we inaugurate the biggest infrastructure project in the history of the Canal and the country of Panama,” said authority spokesemen.
Industry analysts note, however, that the canal’s designers failed to anticipate the scale of the new generation of mega container vessels which are already too large to transit Panama. Instead, they are being deployed in all-water service in the Transpacific.
The 35.3-acre training facility features two lakes connected by a channel modeled after the Canal’s Culebra Cut. The new facility features docking bays, replicas of the new and existing locks, gates, and chambers, all at a 1:25 scale.
The facility is equipped with a number of scale model Panama Canal tugboats, as well as ships built in France at Port Revel, including bulk carriers modeled after the Nord Delphinus, and a container ship modeled after the Maersk Edinburgh. In addition, a liquid natural gas (LNG) ship will be delivered by September 2016.
The facility features wave and wind generators to provide a realistic, hands-on training experience for Canal pilots and tugboat captains to prepare them for the opening of the expanded waterway. It complements the training already provided at the Center of Simulation, Research and Maritime Development (SIDMAR) through immersive, 360-degree training simulations and courses.
The Expansion Program is currently 97 percent complete. Final testing will be conducting in the following weeks, leading up to the official inauguration.
About the AuthorPatrick Burnson, Executive Editor Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]
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