August 23 - Four new lock gates have arrived at the Atlantic entrance of the Panama Canal, a major milestone for the Panama Canal Expansion programme.
The four giant gates, each weighing 3,100 tonnes, were shipped from the port of Trieste in Italy onboard the semi-submersible vessel STX Sun Rise.
"This is an exciting moment for the Panama Canal - the arrival of the new gates marks a great progress for this engineering project," says Panama Canal administrator Jorge L Quijano. "With the expansion, we will further reinforce our position as the maritime and logistics hub of the Americas."
Built by Cimolai SpA, the gates measure 57.8 m long, 10 m wide and 30.19 m high. They will be installed in the middle chamber of the new locks on the Atlantic side of the Canal.
The gates will be moved to their final position using SPMTs.
When complete, the new locks of the Panama Canal will have a total of 18 steel rolling gates - eight for each lock complex. They are being shipped four at a time from Italy. The gates will be stored on a temporary dock until ready for installation.
According to the Panama Canal Authority, the expansion project is 62 percent complete. When finished, the Canal will allow the passage of post-Panamax class vessels.