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Video | Panama Canal lock gates arrive for installation

The third shipment of lock gates for the Panama Canal expansion project has arrived on site.

The Third Set of Locks scheme involves the construction of a new canal that will add to the two existing canals.

The four gates were delivered by sea from Italy, a journey that began on 17 August.

The two new locks will have a total of 16 gates, eight for each lock complex. Unlike the current canal, which uses mitre gates, the expanded canal will have rolling gates.

Two of the gates that arrived this week are 57.6m long, 10m wide and 31.9m high, and weigh 4,163t each. These are the heaviest of the 16 rolling gates to be used in the expanded canal. The other two are 57.6m long, 8m wide and 22.3m high, and weigh 2,867t each.

Subcontractor Cimolai began construction of the gates in October 2011. The first gate shipment arrived in Panama on 20 August 2013 and the second on 10 June this year. The final shipment is expected to arrive in January 2015.

The Panama Canal Authority and its main contractor, the Grupo Unidos por el Canal consortium, fell out last year due to cost over-runs. The dispute is currently being heard at an international court in Miami, USA.

Works on the project are currently more than three-quarters complete.

The Panama Canal celebrated its 100th anniversary on 15 August this year.

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