Construction contractor Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) has confirmed a leak on the Panama Canal’s new Cocoli Locks that are located on the Pacific side of the waterway.
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) started filling the Cocoli’s locks in June after the completion of similar work on the Atlantic side. Earlier, photos and videos emerged on social media displaying the leak on the gate walls.
GUPC will work with the ACP to analyse the problem and propose solutions.
With the start of Cocoli’s locks filling, the ACP began the project’s compliance and operational testing phase. The filling and subsequent testing are expected to take three months.
The filling process is being performed using electric and diesel pumps. Each electric pump will be capable of providing 30,000 gallons of water per minute, while diesel pumps will carry 7,000 gallons of water a minute.
Extension of the Panama Canal will create a new lane of traffic along the canal through the construction of a set of locks, enhancing the waterway’s capacity.
It is expected to double the canal’s capacity, having a direct impact on economies of scale and international maritime trade.
The programme is scheduled for completion next year.
Meanwhile, ACP is reportedly planning a new project worth up to $17 billion, which will allow the canal to handle the world’s biggest ships.
The authority is reportedly planning the installation of a fourth set of locks which is expected to serve bigger ships that can carry 20,000 containers.