Gallery: Baroque Tests Panama Canal’s New Locks

The Panama Canal’s contracted vessel, the Neopanamax dry bulk carrier MN Baroque, traversed yesterday the new Atlantic-facing Agua Clara Locks as a part of a series of training events occurring prior to the Expanded Canal’s inauguration, scheduled for June 26.

The vessel arrived in Panama this week and was contracted by the Panama Canal to perform multiple lockages through the expanded locks for testing and training purposes for 30 days.

The bulker is to undertake trials of the Atlantic side locks going up, turning around and coming back down. However, it will not make a full transit of the expanded canal.

The lockages are taking place in parallel to training being conducted at the canal’s training facilities.

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said that all went according to plan in yesterday’s transit.

Built in 2011 and owned by the Greek shipping company Golden Union, the MN Baroque has a gross tonnage of 63,940. This 114,248 dwt vessel features a length of 255 meters and a width of 14.51 meters.

Once inaugurated later this June, the expanded canal will double the waterway’s cargo capacity, with Neopanamax vessels able to transit.

The first vessel to cross the Expanded Panama Canal during the waterway’s inauguration will be China COSCO Shipping’s container vessel Andronikos.

Separately, the ACP has announced that the first draft restriction is being suspended until further notice.

Effective April 18, 2016, the maximum authorized transit draft had been set at 11.89 m Tropical Fresh Water (TFW) due to a lower water level of the Gatun lake.

Now, the maximum authorized draft for vessels transiting the Panamax locks is set at 12.04 m TFW.

Finally, the ACP said that the weather forecast for the remainder of the rainy season indicates that no further restrictions for the locks are to be required. Nevertheless, the canal authority will continue to monitor the Gatun Lake level in case restrictions are necessary.

Image& Video Courtesy: Panama Canal Authority