Crowley Maritime has delivered the first gate for the on-going Panama Canal expansion using its heavy lift barge 455 4.
The barge was contracted by Belgium-based heavy lift company Sarens to ship the gate from Cristóbal port on the Atlantic side of the Canal to Grupo Unidos por el Canal’s (GUPC SA) construction dock on the canal’s Pacific side.
Towed by Panama Canal Authority (ACP) tugs, the 105ft-wide barge transported the gate within a day.
Crowley has been assigned to transport all eight gates for the Pacific side lock expansion of the canal.
Crowley solutions group vice-president John Ara said: "Crowley provided Sarens the barge to complete this important step in the historical expansion of the Panama Canal."
The 400ft-long heavy lift barge is capable of handling loads of up to 4,200lb per ft². It will deliver more gates in November and December this year.
Under the Canal expansion project, a new set of locks will be deployed on both the Pacific and the Atlantic side.
For the locks, a total of 16 gates will be provided to allow larger, post-Panamax ships and extended width barges to transit through the canal.
The Panama Canal Authority (PCA) is investing $5.25bn in the expansion of the 48 mile ship canal.
Image: With the help of heavy lift barge 455 4, the Panama Canal expansion’s new gate was transported within one day. Photo: courtesy of Crowley Maritime Corporation.