A program of "selective dredging" now underway in Gaillard Cut and Gatun Lake will result in the deepening of the Canal 1 foot by next March. This will be the first part of a three-phase project to lower the navigable bottom of the Canal by a total of 3 feet by 1979, from the current PLD (Precise Level Datum) 40 to PLD 37. Beginning with the next dry season, the lower Canal bottom will allow the Canal organization to use the extra foot of water to generate relatively cheap hydroelectric power instead of the expensive gas-turbine electricity normally generated to meet dry season power needs. It is estimated that generation of this additional hydroelectric power will save the Panama Canal Company $319,000 in fuel bills next year. The level of Canal ship traffic has slumped in recent months due to various changed conditions including the worldwide recession and the opening of the Suez Canal. Deepening will provide more water for lockages to increase the waterways' capacity. Moreover, the slackening in traffic provides an ideal time to carry out dredging operations, lessening delays and navigational problems to transiting ships.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Development Agency Centre

    800 rene-Leveque Boulevard West, Suite 600
    Montreal, Quebec H3B 1X9,   Canada 
  • Publication Date: 1976

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00142631
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transportation Development Agency Centre
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 15 1976 12:00AM