The Third Lock Project of Panama Canal

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Published on: June 8, 2014

If you are in maritime trade, you know Panama Canal and how it is crucial in your operations. Panama Canal is a ship canal that links Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. The completion of the Canal was an engineering feat. Panama Canal is crucial in world economy because it is the safest, shortest and fastest  route to America’s West Coast and countries around Pacific and Atlantic Ocean.


Panama Canal has two locks that lifts ships to Gatun Lake. The government thought about expanding so they decided to build a third lock. It is still under construction and it will be opened in 2015. Panama Canal Authority manages and operates the Canal. For the purposes of learning, here are some things that you need to know about the third lock project of Panama Canal:


The new lock will feature doubled sliding gates for safety and security purposes. The gates will be 1,200 feet long, 180 feet wide and 160 feet deep. Every flight of the third lock will be escorted by 9 water basins. There will be 3/lock chamber. It is 230 feet wide, 1400 feet long and 18 feet deep.



There have been issues surrounding the construction of the third lock. The group that works on the expansion threatens to suspend its operations unless Panama pay for cost overrun amounting to $1.6 billion. GUPC (Grupo Unidos  por el Canal) consortium led by Sacyr Vallehermoso got the contract.


Panama Canal Authority and GUPC are still talking to resolve the above mentioned cost overrun. The Panama Canal Authority prohibited EU (European Union) to mediate the dispute with the construction conglomerate. The project is now ¾ complete. If it is completed, it will double the Canal’s capacity to handle ships.


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