Setback for Panama Canal Expansion as Locks Leak After Crack Develops

Monday August 24, 2015

The Panama Canal expansion project suffered a setback this weekend after a crack developed in the new Cocoli Locks on the country's Pacific side.

A video posted by gCaptain on video sharing site YouTube shows water flowing through the cracked concrete.

The matter was addressed by authorities through the Panama Canal's twitter account, with one tweet on Saturday saying that Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator Jorge Quijano and an ACP team had met with a technical team from contractor consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) to analyse the issue and make a repair plan.

In a separate tweet GUPC said it is looking at what "adjustments or reinforcements are needed for the smooth operation of the project."

Neither GUPC, or ACP has yet commented on how the development could impact the project's currently planned April 2016 completion date.

When the expansion is finally completed, some industry players expect it to have an impact on the bunker markets particularly in the Caribbean, with one player telling Ship & Bunker that it will allow Jamaica to "realize its potential as the logistics hub of the Caribbean."