Panama Canal Expands Capacity with New Water Reservoir Project

A CMA CGM containerships transits the Panama Canal
The Panama Canal plans to construct a new billion-dollar water reservoir to accommodate 36 ships daily. The Indio River Reservoir Project aims to enhance transit reliability and provide water for consumption. Recent rain has allowed an increase in transits, following previous restrictions due to drought. The project is estimated to cost $1.2 billion.
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The Panama Canal is undergoing a major infrastructure project to build a new water reservoir, the Indio River Reservoir Project, within six years with an estimated cost of $1.2 billion. This reservoir will help to facilitate the passage of 36 ships a day through the canal and provide water for human consumption. Canal manager Ricaurte Vasquez expects this project to increase the reliability of the route and maintain a higher level of transit.

Due to increased rainfall in recent months, the Panama Canal has been able to refill its water catchment area, leading to an expansion of transit capacity. The Neopanamax and Panamax locks will increase the total number of available spaces to 35 after August 5, following a rise in water levels caused by recent rains. This expansion comes after a period of limited transit last year due to a drought.

Ricaurte Vasquez estimates an additional $400 million in investments in neighboring communities as part of the project. The Panama Canal Department is taking steps to ensure a more reliable and sustainable water supply for the operation of one of the world’s largest canals, benefiting global trade and maritime industry.

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