Panama Canal Expansion Will Be Done By April 2015 – Six Months Late

Panama Canal Expansion Will Be Done By April 2015 – Six Months Late

Thursday, March 21 2013 @ 03:02 PM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Views: 18
The expansion of the Panama Canal at a cost of more than 5 billion dollars will be ready to operate in April 2015, which will mean a delay of a half a year on the original plan, said Tuesday the main contractor of the consortium responsible for the project.
“The progress (of the project) is going well and at the end of March 2013 will be at 42% completion,” said Bernardo Gonz├ílez, general manager of the project for design and construction of the new locks, the largest contract estimated at $3.2 billion.

“In December 2014 the Atlantic locks will be operational,” where tests would begin to take place in June of that year, he announced.

Meanwhile, in the Pacific the new channel “will be flooded in September and October (2014) and put into operations in April 2015,” he added.

The waterway is being expanded since 2007 to allow the passage of ships capable of carrying three times the load of those that currently transit the 80km canal, through which passes the 5% of world trade.

The main work is the construction of a third set of locks for the passage of vessels of over 400 meters long and 50 meters wide, capable of carrying over 12,000 containers.

So far $4.32 billion has been awarded in contracts for projects with a total estimated value of $5.25 billion.

In addition to the 42% progress in the project of the locks, overall the expansion project is now 53% done, according to the authority that manages the canal.

However, the works were supposed to be done by 21 October 2014, coinciding with the centenary of the canal.

The delay is due to an objection raised by the Panama Canal Authority over the cement that the main contractor was going to use, a consortium consisting of the Spanish Sacyr, Italy’s Impregilo, Belgium’s Jan de Nul and Panama’s Constructora Urbana, said Tuesday the main works contractor consortium. (Mi Diario)

Editor’s Comment: Let’s see, they’ve been working on this thing for five years – since 2007 – and it’s now 53% done. There are two years between now and April 2015. Does anyone think it’s really going to be done by then? This “six month delay” story line was adopted quite some time ago, and it’s the story they are going to be sticking with through the May 2014 elections. Once those are over, then the “truth” will become known. I’ve been reporting for a long time that this project is much further behind schedule than anyone is willing to admit in public.

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