The Panama Canal expansion project, also called the ‘Third Set of Locks Project’, is intended to double the capacity of the Panama Canal by 2016 by creating a new lane of traffic doubling the waterway capacity and allowing more and larger ships, the size, which are about one and a half times the current maximum width and length (known as Panamax) and can carry over twice as much cargo from 5,000 TEUs to 13,000 TEUs.
The project is planned to:
- Build two new sets of locks, one each on the Atlantic and Pacific sides, and excavate new channels to the new locks. Each set of locks will have three chambers with water-saving basins.
- Widen and deepen existing channels.
- Raise the maximum operating level of Gatun Lake [large artificial lake to the south of Colón, Panama – it forms a major part of the Panama Canal]
To read more: Panama Canal Expansion