Saturday, July 28, 2012

Panama Canal in Numbers


1914: Ancon, a frighter is the first vessel that crosses the canal.

82 kilometers: The length of the canal.



26 meters is the total hights each ship is being rised with the locks and lowered again before sailing into Ocean waters again. Lago Gatún is 26 meters over sea level.



6'300: The number of graves that were dug out while the French took a first attempt on building the canal

9'000 permanent employees find work today at the canal. 



36 Cents is the lowest price ever paid for a crossing of the Panama Canal, MS Richard Halliburton registered with a weight of 1/13 of a ton, equal to about 70 kilograms. Halliburton was the first and only person who crossed the canal swimming. There was no system in place to register anything else than a vessel, therefore Halliburton had to register as "MS Richard Halliburton"


USD 437'000: The highest paid toll to cross the canal

24 + 1: Everyday 24 slots are available to cross the canal, they can be booked up to one year ahead, the 25th slot is auctioned out every day.


USD 220'300: The highest ever paid auctioned out price. In 2006 a vessel bypassed 90 waiting ships just to cross before the canal was closed for 7 days for maintenance. It's regular toll at the time would have been only USD 13'430.

15'000: The approximative number of ships to cross the canal ever year.



USD 5.52 billion: The estimated cost for the canal expansion project currently under way

USD 2.3 billion: Amount of foreign loans Panama took for the project.


580 Horse Power: The BHP that each Muli, the towing locomotives have to pull and manoeuvre the vessels through the locks.



Combined 4'640 BHP pull and monoeuvre the largest vessels through the locks since 8 of those locomotives are used to manoeuvre the biggest ships through the locks.


14 km: The length of the Culebra Cut, the area where the canal cuts through the rocks and shale of the isthmian mountains.



52 million gallons of fresh water are released into the ocean with every crossing. The fresh water comes from the man made Lago Gatún which is fed by Rio Chagres.


3 locks: The canal includes a total of three locks, the Miraflores (two steps) and the San Pedro (one step) locks on the Pacific side and 1 three step lock, the Gatún locks at the Atlantic side.


88 sluice gates and a total of 250 valves control the water needed to operate the locks. No pumps.


45° is the angle that the towing locomotives climb when moving from one lock chamber to the next.


300 pilots are employed to guide the vessels through the system.


36 tugs work in the system to pull and push the vessels through the locks and the Culebra cut.


100 locomotives are working in the three locks of the canal


305 meters is the length of each lock chamber.


33.5 meters is the width of each lock chamber.


26 meters depth of the chambers


294.13 meters is the maximum lenghts that a vessel can have that is built to Panamax specifications. It's width can not be more than 32.4 meters


12.04 meters maximum tropical fresh water draft is allowed according to Panamax specs.

61 centimeters is the remaining space at each side wall when a Panamax vessels manoeuvres through the locks.


60 centimeters is the remaining space when the vessels sail out of and over the treshold of the locks and its gates.

August 15, 2014 is when the new larger locks which will operate parallel to the existing ones should open, and it is the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal.


You can see a lot more pictures of the Panama Canal as well as of Panama HERE

Or you can read a more detailed story in German on my German blog.







1 comment:

  1. Awesome facts, 61 cm of space left? damn! tight fit

    ReplyDelete