Inauguration Panama locks

On Sunday, 26 June, the Panama Locks were inaugurated. As from today the locks are fully operational.

The project
The project for the 3rd set of locks mainly consisted of huge earthmoving and concrete works and some dredging works.  For this contract, Jan De Nul Group helped in the construction of 2 lock complexes, one on the Atlantic and one on the Pacific Ocean side. Thanks to these locks, larger vessels will be able to sail through the Panama Canal. As such, the vessel capacity of the Panama Canal is doubled. Both lock complexes each consist of 3 consecutive lock chambers. So, in all, 6 lock chambers have been built, each comparable in size to the Berendrecht lock in the Port of Antwerp, until recently the largest of the world. The latter was dethroned by the Kieldrecht lock, which was inaugurated on 11 June of this year and was also built by a consortium with, among others, Jan De Nul Group.

We stay in Panama
In the course of 2015 and also in the Panama Canal, now on the side of the Pacific Ocean, Jan De Nul Group won three new contracts, one of which in a consortium, for the second phase of the extension of the international container terminal PSA Panama (Port of Singapore Authority). The first partial contract, awarded in April, included dry earthmoving and soil remediation works to prepare for the subsequent construction of a new quay wall. Jan De Nul Group was responsible for the demolition of existing structures, the excavation of the quay area, the levelling of the future port site and the drainage and consolidation of the site. This partial contract was successfully completed in November. 

The second and third partial contract include dredging and earthmoving works, the development of a new port site of 27 acres and the construction of a quay wall of 800 metre long.

During the extension works, the existing quay and container terminal must remain operational. To this end, the extension must be realised in stages to ensure that the works do not obstruct the port activities. The pre-set deadline for these contracts is September 2017, but several milestones have been set to be able to take the new quay into use in the first half of 2017 already.


Last month, Jan De Nul Group also signed a contract for dredging works in Colon at the Atlantic Ocean.