Extended Panama Canal Reopens [ Current Affairs ]


The Panamanian President, Juan Carlos Varela has revived newly modernized and expanded Panama Canal after the launch a giant Chinese container ship Cosco become the first vessel to move through the newly-enlarged Panama Canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

  • And now the expanded Panama Canal will permit a new, much-larger generation of container ships to pass through the strip of Panama.

About Panama Canal expansion project

  • In October 2006 the Panama Canal development project was permitted after it was favored by the national vote by a 76.8 % majority.
  • And in 2007 the project was officially began and finish in 2014.
  • But it was completed after two years of decided deadline with the estimated cost of $50 billion.
  • Panama Canal expansion project is also named as the Third Set of Locks Project.
  • The new track of the canal runs for 77km.
  • It doubles the prevailing volume of the Panama Canal by accumulating a new lane of traffic permitting for a larger number of ships.
  • It also raises the depth and width of the tracks and locks allowing much-larger age group of container ships to pass.
  • With this it also has elevated the maximum operating water level of Gatun Lake.
  • In general it will also have a direct impact on economies of scale and international maritime trade.

About Panama Canal

  • The Panama Canal is a simulated 77 km waterway that joins the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean.
  • The canal wounds across the Isthmus of Panama.
  • It is a key canal for international maritime trade.
  • It is one of the most important waterways in the world providing the shortest sea link between East Asia, North America and Europe in both strategic and economic way.
  • In 1914 it was inaugurated and had delivered alternative route to lengthy sea voyage nearby the southernmost tip of South America via the Drake Passage or Strait of Magellan.
  • In 1881 France had started work on the canal but stopped it because of engineering problems and a high worker mortality rate.
  • In 1904 US took over the project and later opened it in August 1914.
Map of Panama Canal path

Map of Panama Canal path

Map of Panama Canal path

  • The Panamanian government has taken over the canal totally in 1999.
  • And now the Panamanian government-owned Panama Canal Authority is managing it.

- Published on: June 28, 2016