CHINESE SHIP WILL INAUGURATE PANAMA CANAL EXPANSION
The Andronikos, a chinese ship belonging to the China Cosco Shipping Corporation (COSCOCS), was selected by lottery among the Panama Canal Authority’s 15 largest clients to pass through Panama’s newly expanded canal, to be inaugurated in June after nine years of work. COSCOCS is the world’s fourth-largest operator of container ships.
COSCO’s Andronikos can carry up to 9,400 containers and is 300 meters long and 48 meters wide (980 feet by 160 feet). The brand-new Andronikos will enter the canal from the Atlantic Ocean side and cross to the Pacific. The 80-kilometre (50-mile) canal has been widened at an estimated cost of more than seven billion dollars to triple its capacity by allowing bigger bulk carriers to cross through.
China is the second biggest user of the canal, which provides easy passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The United States is the biggest user of the canal by tonnage. More than 100 Neopanamax-size ships have already made reservations for commercial transit through the new larger locks beginning June 27, the day after the historic inauguration.
The president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, will host an inauguration ceremony on June 26 to which 70 foreign heads of state and government have been invited.