The third set of locks is scheduled to be presented on October 21, 2014 as planned, said Grupo Unidos por el Canal de Panamá (GUPC).
Despite the strike of workers at GUPC, the consortium which is designing and building the third set of locks, the consortium and the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said that the work will be finished on time.
“The third set of locks is scheduled to be completed on October 21, 2014 as scheduled, according to the Shipping Gazette, quoting GUPC on February 6.
Approval of the concrete mix for the construction of the locks is one of the factors that delayed the progress of the work, said Jorge L. Quijano, Executive Vice President of Engineering and Management of the ACP.
Other factors, such as the three strikes by GUPC workers during the development of the work, have also affected the progress of this contract.
The types of concrete used in the lock walls require more strength due to its contact with salt water.
Three types of concrete are being used: concrete to level the excavated ground, marine structural concrete and concrete in bulk.
The excavation leveling of concrete was not a problem due to less stringent requirements, but according to Quijano, the structural marine concrete that will be in contact with salt water, must “meet the technical requirements, through laboratory tests confirmed by the field tests.”
“In addition to resistance to shrinkage, the concrete has to be modeled to ensure at least 100 years of life, and very low permeability to ensure that the embedded rebar are not touched by the salt water, which would corrode it” explained Quijano.
Despite the delay, the ACP estimates that if the consortium uses the remainder of the dry season, in less than one year it will not have lost time. The work is fully insured and GUPC must pay $300,000 for each day of delay if the work extends beyond October 21, 2014
If it ends before that date, an amount for each day of advance, up to $50 million, will be recognized to the consortium.
This post is also available in: Spanish