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Grapevine - Panama Canal expansion delay

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has received a new schedule from its construction consortium for completion of the new locks, according to the Journal of Commerce (April 4, 2012).

Quoting Jorge Quijano, the engineer in charge of building the third set of locks, the Journal of Commerce said the new locks would probably not be ready for their scheduled opening in October 2014 but would be ready for a trial run by a vessel in December.

The change in the opening date of the new locks is said to be related to the concrete, which according to the specifications is required to last for at least 100 years. The new schedule for completing the work specified in the $3.2 billion contract has reportedly indicated that all the work will not be completed until April 2015, six months after the target date for the opening of the new locks in October 2014. However, the new schedule includes work on such elements as parking lots and building that are not essential to the new locks.

The locks are expected to be ready for testing in October, but not for full operation. According to the Journal of Commerce, Mr Quijano will become the ACP’s new administrator on September 4, succeeding Alberto Aleman Zubieta.