ACP reinforces tugboat fleet as expansion nears completion
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has taken delivery of its first two of 14 new tugboats in preparation for the South American waterway's expansion.
The tugs will put into operation at the 49-mile stretch of waterway’s Third Set of Locks.
“These new tugboats will allow the Panama Canal to continue offering a world-class service,” commented Panama Canal Administrator, Jorge Quiijano.
“They will help us prepare to face the challenge of operating the new set of locks with the same efficiency.”
The tugs, named Cerro Itamut and Cerro Picacho after different landmarks in and around Panama, are part of the new fleet of 14 tractor tugs that will be arriving within the next 12 months from Spanish ship-building company Astilleros Armon. The company was awarded the contract in September 2011, after an open tender with the participation of 20 companies from different countries in South America, Europe and Asia.
Quijano added that the update to the Panama Canal tugboat fleet began in 2001, when the waterway had 20 tugs. Currently, the Panama Canal boasts a tugboat fleet of 39.