Boosting Transit Capacity Amid Drought Recovery: Panama Canal Authority’s Strategic Moves

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  • The Panama Canal Authority has unveiled plans to increase transit capacity.
  • Temporary reduction in daily transits to 17 Panamax locks.
  • The ACP’s proactive measures demonstrate resilience and adaptability in managing transit capacity.

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has unveiled plans to increase transit capacity, indicating progress in Panama’s efforts to combat drought conditions attributed to El Niño, reports Engine Online.

Gradual Enhancements

The authority plans a phased approach to enhance transit capabilities. Daily transits rise to 32 from a previous limit of 27, signaling a proactive stance.

Adjustments in Maximum Draft

Significant adjustments include raising the maximum draft for ships passing through the largest locks, up to 13.71 meters from the current 13.41 meters by mid-June.

Maintenance work on the Gatun Locks from 7 to 15 May will precede these adjustments.

Phased Implementation

Temporary reduction in daily transits to 17 Panamax locks during the maintenance period.

Upon completion, daily transits to increase to 24 Panamax locks and 7 Neopanamax locks, totaling 31 from 16 May to 31 May.

Further enhancements are planned from 1 June onwards, with the number of daily transits in the Neopanamax locks rising to 8, totaling 32 transits.

Safety Measures

Maximum permitted draught for vessels transiting Neopanamax locks to be raised to 13.71 meters (45 feet) from 15 June.

Focus on safe navigation while considering Gatun Lake level projections and operational requirements.

Positive Turnaround

These developments mark a significant reversal since May last year when the ACP had to reduce daily transits due to severe drought conditions in the region.

Conclusion

The ACP’s proactive measures demonstrate resilience and adaptability in managing transit capacity amidst environmental challenges, fostering confidence in the Panama Canal’s operations.

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Source: Engine Online