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Inauguration of the Panama Canal expansion

Expansion project of the Panama Canal.

Expansion project of the Panama Canal.

The Panama Canal expansion, which was built with participation from SENER, was inaugurated on June 26. This is one of the world’s most significant infrastructure projects thanks to the new commercial opportunities it will represent by allowing the passage of ships that can carry up to 14,000 containers, three times the current limit, according to the Panama Canal Authority.

SENER’s work on the project consisted of drafting the executive project for the control buildings, 94 operations buildings and services for the canal’s third group of locks located at the entrances to the Atlantic and the Pacific. The design involved the disciplines of architecture, structures, electronics, hydraulics, sanitation, storm drainage, HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning), the coordination of special CCSS systems (data), and BIM (Building Information Modelling) of all the buildings in order to subsequently manage their operations. Of special note for their size and complexity are the machinery building where the lock-gate management equipment is housed, and the water saving basin room, which operates the flow of water that fills the locks.

SENER was also awarded the contract for analyzing the functional safety of the electromechanical and control systems of the lock-gates for the Panama Canal, where for the first time ever, functional safety engineering standards (which are typically applied in high-technology industrial and railway projects) were used in a port infrastructure.

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