Eaton wins Panama Canal contract

By Control Design staff

Apr 07, 2015

Eaton has been awarded an additional $5.2-million contract to provide critical installation services for the Panama Canal Expansion Program. Eaton’s contract was awarded by Grupo Unidos por el Canal, SA (GUPC, www.gupc.com.pa), the contractor responsible for the design and construction of the third set of locks of the expansion program under contract to the Panama Canal Authority. The expansion project is expected to be completed by the end of 2015 and operational in early 2016.

Eaton has a decades-long history as a provider of power distribution products and solutions to the Panama Canal, including support for electrical system design and construction in 2011. The latest contract, aimed at developing a robust, reliable and efficient electrical system, is the culmination of several years of planning, technical reviews and collaboration.

Eaton will lead project management, quality assurance, safety and technical supervision and provide installation services for all of the electrical equipment it provided in previous contracts. The range of power management solutions and products includes Arc Resistant Medium Voltage Switchgear, Pad Mounted Transformers, FlashGard Motor Control Centers, Clean Power Variable-Frequency Drives and on-site equipment startup supervision, commissioning, testing and training services.

The Panama Canal Expansion was more than 80% complete as of the end of December 2014. The resulting third lane of traffic will allow the passage of bigger vessels, which will double the canal's capacity and have an important impact on world maritime trade. The project will also help to protect and conserve the water resources of the Panama Canal watershed. A new water-saving basin system will improve water efficiency, using 7% less water than the existing locks. In addition, 60% of the water will be recycled in each transit. GUPC is a consortium led by Spain's Sacyr Vallehermoso, Italy's Impregilo, the Belgian Jan de Nul Group, and Panama's Constructora Urbana SA.

“The Panama Canal is among the greatest engineering triumphs of the 20th century, and its 21st-century expansion will once again help revolutionize global commerce,” said Revathi Advaithi, president, Electrical Sector, Americas, Eaton. “By continuing to deploy efficient, reliable and safe electrical systems, Eaton is helping to bolster the economic competitiveness of the Panama Canal as it enters its second century of operation.”

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