Panama inaugurated the long-awaited Panama Canal expansion on Sunday with the ceremonial transit of the China Shipping Panama through the new neopanamax Agua Clara locks on the Atlantic side.
Cosco Shipping won the rights to have the first vessel through the Panama Canal back in May via a lottery. Cosco’s vessel, the Andronikos was renamed the Cosco Shipping Panama for this special journey.
The $5.25 billion Expansion Program is the largest improvement project in the Canal’s 102-year history, and included the construction of new, larger locks on both the Pacific and the Atlantic sides and dredging of more than 150 million cubic meters of material, creating a second lane of traffic and doubling the capacity of the waterway.
Despite challenges facing the global shipping industry, the larger canal is anticipated to open up new routes, services, and market segments, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Here are some photos of the inaugural transit:
The Panama Canal expansion officially opened to commercial transits on Monday with the transit of the MV Passat and the LPG carrier Peace Lycaste.
Source credit: gcaptain.com