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Panama Canal opens to larger vessels in June

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The Panama Canal’s newly expanded locks are scheduled for inauguration on June 26 and the first commercial vessels will transit on June 27, according to reports in media reports.

The Panama Canal Authority began taking transit reservations on April 18 for vessels classified as Neopanamax. These ships are more than 966 feet long or more than 107 feet wide and will be able to transit the new wider, deeper locks.

The expansion created a new lane of traffic with a new set of locks, doubling the waterway’s capacity. Work on the project began in September 2007 at a total cost of $5.2 billion.

The first reservation was booked by the an LPG tanker more than 750 feet long with a beam of more than 120 feet.

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