On Sunday, June 26th, 2016; the inaugural transit of the Panama Canal Expansion began with the transit of Neopanamax vessel COSCO Shipping Panama through the new Atlantic-facing Agua Clara Locks.
Originally named Andronikos, the vessel was renamed to honor and pay respect to the country of Panama and the Canal.
The Expansion Program is the Canal’s largest enhancement project. It included the construction of a new set of locks on the Atlantic and Pacific side of the waterway and the excavation of more than 150 million cubic meters of material, creating a second lane of traffic and doubling the cargo capacity of the waterway. While the Expanded locks are 70 feet wider and 18 feet deeper than those in the original Canal, they use less water due to water-savings basins that recycle 60 percent of the water used per transit.