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Monday, December 17, 2018

Panama Canal Expansion: Test Runs Begin

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 9, 2016

Photo: Panama Canal Authority

Photo: Panama Canal Authority

Initial test runs through the expanded Panama Canal began Thursday as tugs led a bulk carrier into the first set of locks on the Atlantic side of the canal, AP reports.

Chartered to perform the test operation is the 836-foot-long bulker Baroque, which is not as large as the New Panamax ships (measuring up to 1,200 feet) due to transit the waterway following its formal opening on June 26.
The Malta-flagged Baroque wasn't carrying cargo on the first run through the Agua Clara locks.
Original plans had the $5.25 billion expansion slated for completion in October 2014, but the project ran into a number of setbacks, including labor strikes, slow approvals for materials and leaks in the locks.
The expansion is expected to double the canal's capacity, tap new markets such as liquid natural gas shipments and cut global maritime costs by an estimated $8 billion a year, AP reports.
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