Panama Canal Authority takes delivery of hopper barges

The first two of five split hopper barges built by Peru's Servicios Industriales de la Marina (SIMA) PERU S.A., to support the Panama Canal expansion were recently delivered to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).

Designed by Guido Perla & Associates, Inc. (GPA), Seattle, WA, the hopper barges measure 65 meters in overall length with a beam of 15 meters, while the hopper measures 47.5 meters in length and has a breadth of 10.92 meters. A unique feature of the barges is the raised position of the hydraulic cylinders, set such that they allow for their repair with the barge on the water, an improvement on other standard designs. GPA’s scope for the barge design included the basic design and regulatory package, following strict requirements of the ACP specifications. 

The ABS classified, remotely operated barges have a hopper capacity of 1,000m³ and are designed to suit the requirements of the existing ACP dipper dredger Rialto M. Christensen, which is currently operating in the canal.

These barges are yet another example of GPA's position as a significant player in the South American maritime industry. The five barges and two pusher tugs are the first contracts that GPA secured for the Panamanian market and are the result of continuous and diligent efforts to enter Panama for several years now. 

“We are very pleased that GPA was chosen to design these vessels. We continuously invest intensive time and effort into the South Amerrrican market and are quite satisfied that it is paying off, with a total of 19 vessels under construction at South American shipyards,” explains Guido Perla, Chairman of GPA.

December 15, 2011