Engineering

Panama Canal channels now has the world’s largest sliding doors

33 meters in height and weigh 4,000 tons: the sliding doors of built to Panama Canal, who is moved at the weekend to practicing conversion operation. To allow injection of sea giants, with 14,000 containers of cargo.

That was a huge renovation: since 2007, 40,000 workers have moved 150 million qm3 Earth and boulders and gigantic locks on the Atlantic and Pacific side of the Panama Canal built with 12 million tons of cement and 192,000 tonnes of steel.

See them vessels with 14,000 containers place – in the past was at 4500.

The locks are 420 m long, 55 metres wide and 18.3 m deep. And have huge sliding doors. “These are the world’s largest sliding doors”, explains engineer Ricardo Chong. “You are 57 m long, 10 m wide and between 22 and 33 m high.” A door weighing 4000 tonnes. The sheath is like a big box of 2000 cars in it.” The doors open and close in five minutes. Around three hours it takes then to lift ships to 28 m on the level of the Gatúnsees.

Channel management expects 3 billion $ annual turnover

The 5.25 billion $ expensive reconstruction will be paid make. “After the extension we can inject again worldwide 96 percent of all ships”, says Monica Martinez from the channel management. “We expect that we can double the throughput of cargo currently 300 million tons per year to 600 million tons.”

Panama Canal channels now has the world's largest sliding doors
There are huge basin next to the locks. You prevent that flow per lock gear 200 million litres of fresh water into the sea. 60% of the water can be used again. Photo: channel management company

Large tanker with liquefied petroleum gas can now save time and money, because they no longer have to drive around Cape Horn South America. And how much is the passage? Hapag-Lloyd expects $800,000 charges to a cargo ship with 10,000 containers. That flushes more than 3 billion $ in the funds of channel management.

Drip tray: when the locks less freshwater is lost

The new locks will also save freshwater. Because the designers have build retention basin, which carry so much water such as 18 Olympic swimming pools. Earlier, fins at each lock gear 200 million liters of fresh water into the sea and lost the man-made Gatúnsee.

And that was not always possible due to the water shortage, so that the Panama Canal the daily passages often had to chokes. With the collecting tank, 60% can be reuse percentage of water.

14,000 ships pass through the Canal each year

The Panama Canal connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean and is one of the most important waterways in the world. It begins in the port city of colon on the Caribbean side in the North and ends approximately 80 km to close to Panama City in the South. Per year about 14,000 ships pass through the Canal, which handle 6% of world trade – every day between 35 and 40. “This is one of the most important buildings of the world,” says Jorge Quijano, head of channel management. “Maybe not the most expensive, but without a doubt the most for the world.” Here ships from 160 countries sail by.”