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07-09-2015

Panama Canal Authority: Repairs to Cracked Locks Will Not Delay April 2016 Opening

Javier Carrillo says the ACP had expected such setbacks to occur during the testing phase and had included extra time in the project schedule for repairs.

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) says that it has scheduled one month to repair the leaks recently discovered in the new third set of locks.

Javier Carrillo, international trade specialist for ACP, commenting Monday on the crack discovered in the concrete, said the repairs are not expected to delay the planned official opening on the newly expanded canal in April 2016.

"I saw the cracks and got scared too, but we're actually glad it happened now, because we're in the testing phase - we're testing each and every component," explained Carrillo, noting that time for such repairs had already been included the expansion project schedule.

Carrillo also noted that the repairs are currently being planned by Grupo Unidos por el Canal, the construction firm responsible for building the locks, along with two other independent consulting firms.

The weather effects of the El Ni\u00f1o, said to have triggered the drought that almost caused a draft restriction to be implemented, is reported to be a more immediate concern to the ACP.

"The rain is something we have no control over. The locks we can fix," said Carrillo, adding that if further rainfall is not received, "we're going have to announce new draft restrictions through the canal."

Last week, it was reported that the\u00a0crack had developed in the new Cocoli Locks on the Panama's Pacific side.


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