Due to the serious effects caused by the weather phenomenon ‘El Nino’, the Panama Canal has issued a draft restriction warning for ships traversing the waterway, according to Seatrade Martitime.
El Nino refers to the periodic warming of sea-surface temperatures and in relation the Panama Canal, this can lead to a reduction in the amount of rainfall around the Madden and Gatun lakes, causing below-average water levels.
The Panama Canal Authority has said it is closely monitoring the water levels of Gatun and Madden lakes in an effort to reduce the possibility of imposing draft restrictions in the near future as a result of this phenomenon.
ACP added that canal officials will do everything possible to eliminate those restrictions at the earliest opportunity.
The canal’s expansion is on track to be completed in early 2016 and is currently working its way through the electro-mechanical phase of construction.
Once completed in early 2016, a third lock will be created to service post-Panamax ships of up to 14,000 TEU.