THE Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has announced that the expansion of the waterway is 96 per cent complete.
"We are very close - only four per cent remains to complete the project," said ACP CEO and Administrator Jorge Quijano.
"An expansion of the Panama Canal has never been done and we should all feel very good about where we are today," he said.
The next step is installing the lock reinforcements to be completed next month to be followed by a testing period.
In April, transit trial tests with a chartered vessel in the Atlantic locks will occur following discussions with general contractor GUPC.
The date for the expansion's inauguration will be then be selected, expected to be in the second quarter after which the commercial opening date will be set.
The ACP is building the expanded canal for the long haul, and quality and testing are critical. The ACP will continue to provide updates on the project as more progress and information is made available.
The Panama Canal is run by an autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal.
The operation of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the ACP's website: http://www.pancanal.com or follow us on Twitter @thepanamacanal.
Source : HKSG.