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Panama Canal increases maximum draft limit for vessels using Neopanamax locks

he OOCL Malaysia became the 2,500 Neopanamax ship to transit the Expanded Panama Canal, December 18, 2017. Photo: Panama Canal Authority

The OOCL Malaysia became the 2,500 Neopanamax ship to transit the Expanded Panama Canal, December 18, 2017. Photo: Panama Canal Authority

From gCaptain:

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has announced it will increase in the maximum allowable draft for vessels using the new Neopanamax locks after recent rainfall brought the Gatun and Alajuela Lakes to their operating limits.

Effective immediately, the maximum allowable draft for vessels transiting the Neopanamax locks will be increased to 14.33 m (47.0 feet) Tropical Fresh Water (TFW), the ACP said.

The raising of the maximum allowable draft gets the Panama Canal closer to 15.2 meters originally planned for the new Neopanamax locks. The locks, the key component of the Expanded Panama Canal, first opened in June 2016 with the maximum draft set at a shallow 12.8 meters (42 feet) Tropical Fresh Water. In raising the draft limits on Monday, the Panama Canal Authority said that with the expected arrival of the dry season in the next few weeks, it will continue to monitor and manage the water levels of the Gatun and Alajuela Lakes and make updates as necessary.

More at gCaptain

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