Sacyr successfully concludes the expansion of the Panama Canal

The consortium led by Sacyr has built the Third Set of Locks: two new complexes of three-step locks including three basins for the reuse of water per chamber, with one set on the Pacific side and another on the Atlantic.

It allows expanding canal navigation capacity by up to 600 million tons annually and allows the passage of larger, Post-Panamax ships.

Over 10,000 workers of 40 different nationalities participated during construction.

An environmentally responsible project, with a system of basins that save 60% in water.

Major technical challenges arose during the project, to which Sacyr responded with a high level of innovation by developing new solutions that mark a before and after in the era of modern engineering.


For nearly seven years now, Sacyr has overcome many challenges of various types, given that the project has been highly complex, not only technically, administratively, logistically and management-wise, but also due to the strict standards of quality that were required and the demanding time-line for executing the planned large volumes. Added to this were aspects such as the adverse weather during construction, with nine months of rain per year, and the obligation to not interfere with navigation in the existing canal.

For Sacyr, the project has represented a great challenge from the technical, orographic, geologic and climate point of view, both before beginning the project and during the works, given that new challenges were posed in the models for responding to seismic reactions, in selecting the best materials and the combination thereof and regarding the most suitable, efficient and sustainable structural design.

These challenges were overcome through innovation, plus new contributions were worked on during development of the project. Highlights of these challenges include the design, manufacture, movement and installation of the new gates (a total of 16), which have huge dimensions and required pinpoint placement.

Other innovations included the system and software for control and operation, which were completely developed and manage 70,000 signals. Furthermore, they are characterized by their robustness against incorrect switching, human error and special events.

Delvalle worked to develop more than 1300 units of Aisi 316L enclosures equipped with the necessary equipment to stand any possible climate condition. All of them in compliance, IP67, UL Type Nema 4x.