Executive Briefings

Opening of New Panama Canal Locks Gets Pushed Back at Least Three Months

The Panama Canal's new locks will probably not be ready for their scheduled opening in October 2014, but will be ready for a trial run by a vessel in December, said Jorge Quijano, the engineer in charge of building the canal's third set of locks.

The change in the opening date of the new locks is caused by the inability of the consortium that is building the new locks, Grupo Unidos por el Canal, to meet its contractual requirements for the concrete mix for the locks, which delayed the laying of the concrete from January until July of last year. The concrete has to last at least 100 years, but GUPC could not make concrete that met that standard until the canal authority brought in an outside expert to show them how to make it.

The Panama Canal Authority received a letter from GUPC with a new schedule for completing the work specified in its $3.2bn contract for the locks. The schedule indicated that it will not be able to complete all the work required by its contract until April 2015, six months behind the target date for the opening of the new locks in October 2014. But the new schedule includes work on such elements as parking lots and building that are not essential to the new locks, said Quijano, who will become the canal authority's new administrator on Sept. 4, succeeding Alberto Aleman Zubieta.

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The change in the opening date of the new locks is caused by the inability of the consortium that is building the new locks, Grupo Unidos por el Canal, to meet its contractual requirements for the concrete mix for the locks, which delayed the laying of the concrete from January until July of last year. The concrete has to last at least 100 years, but GUPC could not make concrete that met that standard until the canal authority brought in an outside expert to show them how to make it.

The Panama Canal Authority received a letter from GUPC with a new schedule for completing the work specified in its $3.2bn contract for the locks. The schedule indicated that it will not be able to complete all the work required by its contract until April 2015, six months behind the target date for the opening of the new locks in October 2014. But the new schedule includes work on such elements as parking lots and building that are not essential to the new locks, said Quijano, who will become the canal authority's new administrator on Sept. 4, succeeding Alberto Aleman Zubieta.

Read Full Article