The first postpanamax dredge in the world according to its operator, the Belgian company Jan De Nul, is in Panama for almost four weeks.
Its job is to work on the navigation channel of the Atlantic entrance of the Canal expansion in Colon.
As well as widening and deepening the navigation channel it also served for a maneuverability test to see how post-Panamax vessels will enter the Canal. In the future vessels of this size, which currently can not use the Canal, will arrive in this area and cross the Canal without any problem.
The dredge, the Charles Darwin, is 183 meters long and 40 meters wide. It has two suction dredging booms weighing 345 tons each. Because of its dimensions, the operator is working with restrictions on the channel in order to not interfere with ship traffic.
The dredge is working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. According to the plan, it will remove 6.2 million cubic meters of material along 9.8 km of the Atlantic navigation channel to the new Atlantic locks.
This post is also available in: Spanish