MARITIME AFFAIRS

Panama opens expanded Canal

Temas:

This Sunday will go down in history as the day that the third set of locks opened for the Panama Canal, the greatest engineering work in the 21st century so far.

Not only has it been the epicenter of obstacles, but it has also generated employment and will transform world trade, increasing the capacity of the waterway.

The inauguration of the third set of locks comes 102 years after the first two were opened, in 1914.

The opening ceremony is being attended by 62 international delegations, which, together with President Juan Carlos Varela, Minister of Canal Affairs Roberto Roy and Panama Canal Authority Administrator Jorge Luis Quijano, will welcome the vessel Cosco Shipping Panama.

In the shipping publication Seatrade, Varela said that this event will be much different than the opening in 1914, when the U.S. oversaw the work.

"At that time there were few Panamanians who were involved with the project. But 100 years later, the story is different," he said.

Roy, in the same publication entitled "Inauguration of the expanded Panama Canal," recalled the first discussions about expanding the canal that took place in 1995.

He said, at the time, the canal officials recognized that the modernization "would involve an enormous effort that would require labor-intensive and external technical resources for the Panama Canal Authority."

That effort comes to fruition today with the opening of the expanded waterway.

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