Panama to open expanded canal today

By: |
London | Published: June 26, 2016 10:39:01 AM

With Panama opening its renovated canal today, far bigger cargo ships after nearly a decade of expansion work aimed at boosting transit revenues and global trade, would pass through the canal.

pannama canalAn important ceremony will be held today on the banks of the canal to inaugurate the completion of the works. (Reuters)

With Panama opening its renovated canal today, far bigger cargo ships after nearly a decade of expansion work aimed at boosting transit revenues and global trade, would pass through the canal.

An important ceremony will be held today on the banks of the canal to inaugurate the completion of the works.

President Juan Carlos Varela will unveil the new locks and third shipping lane built into the 102-year-old canal.

Foreign dignitaries, including the presidents of Taiwan, Chile and other Central American nations, will be present at the ceremony.

A Chinese-owned Neopanamax-class cargo ship will be the first vessel to officially test the new infrastructure, entering from the Atlantic and exiting into the Pacific a few hours later.

The expansion work began in 2007 and was meant to have been completed in 2014, but it ran well past deadline, and over budget.

The expansion is estimated to have cost 5.5 billion US dollar.

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