The new lock on the Atlantic, which is furthest along in the expansion project, would be the first to operate, and a cruise could be the first ship to pass through, Panama Canal Authority (ACP) administrator Jorge Luis Quijano said yesterday. Speaking at the Panama Maritime XI Conference on the expansion project, Quijano gave an update that the entire public works is nearly 53% completed.
The estimated date for completion is April 2015, and the Atlantic lock could begin commercial operation in June of that year, he added. The vessel would pass through the locks until it reaches Gatún Lake, the turn-around point. The ACP has not approved the Grupo Unidos por el Canal contractor to change the date of delivery of the new locks, which is still set for October 21, 2014.