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First Atlantic locks flooded in new Panama Canal

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First Atlantic locks flooded in new Panama Canal

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The new Panama Canal is near 90% complete, and on Thursday a test stretch on the Atlantic coastline was flooded for the first time.

Testing of the Agua Fria locks will then follow over the next few months with the end of all works scheduled for the end of next April.

The expansion project began in 2007 and is two years behind schedule after a number of setbacks, but it should significantly increase the canal’s current 320 million tons a year freight capacity, or five percent of the world’s maritime trade.

The upgrade will also more than double the size of ship the canal can handle.