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Chinese ship first through Panama Canal

Published:Sunday | May 1, 2016 | 5:00 AM

A Chinese cargo ship has been selected as the first vessel to transit the Panama Canal's expanded locks.

Authorities say the inaugural crossing will be made by the Andronikos, a so-called New-Panamax ship with a 9,400-container capacity.

Lottery

It was chosen by lottery Friday. Only Cosco of China and Norway's Wallenius Wilhemsen Lines took part.

Canal administrator Jorge Luis Quijano said other companies were interested, but were unable to participate.

That's because it had to be a westward-bound ship, and also because of draft limitations due to scant rains attributed to the weather pattern known as El NiÒo.

The ceremonial opening of the canal's US$5.2 billion expansion is set for June 26.