Apart from the works for the PSA Panamá terminal, Jan De Nul has worked from 2009 up to 2016 on the third set of lock complexes on the Panama Canal. These new locks provide access for post-Panamax ships that can transport 12,000 containers. The Panama Canal is 81 kilometres long and allows vessels to take a shortcut instead of sailing around South America. A ship sailing from New York to San Francisco through the Canal will travel 9,500 kilometre; this is less than half the distance of 22,500 kilometres when sailing round Cape Horn (Chile) or two weeks less sailing.

The project consists of two identical lock complexes, one on the Atlantic and another on the Pacific Ocean. The Locks opened in June 2016 and are the world’s largest lock complexes at 55 metre wide, 427 metre long and 18.3 metre deep. Through the locks, ships bridge a difference in height of 26 metre. Each lock complex has three chambers that connect to a reservoir saving up to 59% of water for reuse when ships sail through the locks.

Jan De Nul is a partner in the consortium that executed the Locks to which it contributed its expertise and knowledge in establishing and organising the complete project for which our experience in design, management and engineering advice was invaluable.

About 9,000, mostly Panamanian, people helped to build the lock complexes. The Panamanian government has invested over 7 billion dollars in them so that today, over 5% of all commodities worldwide passes through the canal.

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