Image Courtesy: Panama Canal Authority
Image Courtesy: Panama Canal Authority

Not only one of the world’s largest ongoing construction projects, the Panama Canal expansion was also considered the most important infrastructure projects in the last 100 years. In total, it took $5.4 billion, 40,000 workers, and 10 years to expand the 102-year-old canal.

Celebrating its completion this past Sunday was CEMEX, which supplied close to a million tons of especially developed cement for the project.

According to a press release from CEMEX, the company invested more than $300 million in 2008 to triple its production capacity in Panama to meet the country’s growing demand. To guarantee supply, CEMEX Panama dedicated a production line exclusively for the Panama Canal expansion project.

“CEMEX congratulates the Government, the Panama Canal Authorities, and especially the Panamanian people for the key role they played in this iconic project, which will change the dynamics of global trade and economy,” said Fernando A. Gonzalez, CEO of CEMEX. “Our ability to meet the design, supply, and logistics requirements of our clients is a priority for us. We are proud to have fulfilled the demands of this mega-infrastructure.

The cement designed specifically for this project was developed with durable and low heat hydration properties, which enabled fast construction by facilitating massive pouring. It is also highly resistant to chemical sulfates that attack submarine structures.

Panama celebrated the opening of the Canal with a weekend party hosting Vice President Joe Biden, members of the U.S. Congress, and 70 country leaders.

The expanded canal nearly triples the capacity of ships transiting the canal, from those able to carry 5,000 containers to up to 14,000 containers, and is expected to bring increased revenue to Panama.