PANAMA CANAL New Locks and related vessel requirements
The project of Panama Canal new locks construction was originally scheduled for completion by October 2014.
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) expects the expanded canal should be in operation by January 2016 after a trial period. This latest target date is seven months behind a previous estimate of June 2015.
All vessels which may be fit to pass the Canal after the completion of the new locks should consider compliance with the applicable requirements, i.e.:
Panamax Plus: All Panamax vessels authorized for TFW drafts greater than 12.04 meters up to 15.2 meters.
New Panamax: All vessels with dimensions greater than Panamax or Panamax Plus that comply with the size and draft limitations of the new locks; namely, 366 meters in length by 49 meters in beam by 15.2 meters TFW draft.
ARGO NAVIS has already offered to Clients who have Panamax Plus or New Panamax size vessels the services necessary for them to prepare the vessels for passing the Canal.
The requirements and corresponding services are summarized below:
- Vessels have to comply with dimensions, visibility and outfitting requirements.
- Mainly the mooring and towing fittings have to be reviewed and evaluated for compliance with the specified requirements.
- Also, various other minor outfitting items have to be available such as pilot shelters, while boarding facilities have to be in compliance with the ACP requirements.
Following review of the existing arrangements and outfitting drawings, ARGO NAVIS in close cooperation with the Client proposes the minimum required modifications which are submitted to ACP for review and acceptance.
Consequently, ARGO NAVIS develops, issues and submits those drawings which are to be approved by the Classification Society. Consequent to the approval by the Class, ARGO NAVIS prepares a modification specification for the Client which is meant to be used by the Client for requesting quotations for the corresponding works and ordering them to the repair facilities.