Helping improve the Panama canal

February 24th, 2012, Published in Articles: Vector

The Panama Canal provides the shortest route for trade ships between the east and west coasts of North America. However, less than 40% of the world’s commercial fleet can make use of this shortcut due to their size. The Panama Canal Authority (PCA) has therefore decided to modernise and expand this vital waterway. Bosch Rexroth has been awarded a multi-year contract to manufacture the new hydraulic systems, to ensure the canal’s uninterrupted operation. The PCA plans to enlarge the locks already in place, and build a third set of locks on both the Atlantic and Pacific ends, to allow ships up to 366 m long and 49 m wide to pass through the canal. The new locks are also required to protect the region’s water regime, and are much larger than the old ones. To raise the ships, the Bosch Rexroth drives will open the corresponding sluices and the water from the basins will flow by gravity into the lock chamber. 

Contact Mike Harrison, Bosch, Tel 011 975-9700, mike.harrison@hytec.co.za

Caption
Fig. 1: An artist’s impression of the expanded Panama Canal:
Bosch Rexroth has been awarded a multi-year contract to manufacture the new hydraulic systems for the 158 rolling gates that forms part of the expansion programme for the Panama Canal.

 

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