The Port of Wilmington has allocated up to US$21.6 million in order to expand its turning basin in preparation for the surge of larger container ships expected to sail through the Panama Canal when it is completed in H2, 2016, according to the Journal of Commerce.
The turning basin will be expanded from 365.7 metres to 426.7 metres by removing an existing bulk pier and dredging along the port's side of the river.
Cliff Pyron, a Spokesman for the Wilmington State Port Authority, said: “But the largest ship that we have right now is about 4,500 TEU.
“We’re expanding the turning basin for what we’re calling the ‘workhorse vessel,’ [which are] vessels in that 8,000-10,000 TEU range. That’s what we’re targeting.”
A number of ports recently began to upgrade their infrastructure in a bid to prepare for the grand opening of the Panama Canal.
Jorge Quijano, Administrator for the Panama Canal Authority recently released a statement in which he reflected on the progress made in 2015, with the key focus being on quality and testing in 2016.