The Panama Canal and its expansion project

The Panama Canal is one of the most important inland waterways of the world, linking the Atlantic with the Pacific across the Central American isthmus.

The canal is approximately 80 kilometres long. It begins in the city of Colon on Panama's northern coast and ends near Panama City toward the Pacific in the south.

The expanded canal has three lock systems, which raise the ships 28 metres from sea level to Lake Gatun at the centre of the canal, and lowers them again on the other side.

The 5.25 billion dollar canal expansion project was necessary because of an increase in size of recently built ships that became too large to transit the canal's existing locks. In the future, huge post-Panamax class tankers and freighters carrying up to 14,000 containers will be able to transit the canal's locks.

Around 14,000 ships transit the Panama Canal each year, comprising roughly 6 per cent of global trade.

Last update: Wed, 22/06/2016 - 17:05
Author: 

Related

More from World

Advancing Syrian government takes Old City of Aleppo from rebels

Syrian government forces and their allies have advanced deeper into the shrinking rebel-held enclave in eastern ...

Ghana votes in hotly contested presidential elections

Ghanaians started lining up at voting stations Wednesday to elect a president and parliament, in polls dominated by...

At least 92 killed after earthquake hits Indonesia

The death toll in an earthquake that hit Indonesia's Aceh province rose to 92 Wednesday afternoon after more bodies...

Bolivia arrests three at footballer crash airline

Bolivian authorities Tuesday arrested the director and two employees of Bolivian charter airline Lamia, whose sole...

Strong earthquake rocks Indonesia's Aceh province

An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale hit Indonesia's Aceh province Wednesday, injuring at least one...