Sioen "digs" the Panama canal

At the Panama canal, locks were installed in order to double the waterway’s capacity. These new locks increase canal width and depth required for modern container ships. The new locks require 18 water saving basins, 9 on the Atlantic side and 9 on the Pacific side.

The water basins are made with waterproof PVC geomembranes and geocomposites. Sioen played an important role in the construction of these water basins.

Manifattura Fontana S.p.A., part of the Sioen Industries group, supplied advanced PP geotextiles. These were heat-bonded with a PVC geomembrane in order to achieve a robust liner. The Sioen non-woven geotextile acts as anti-puncture layer and increases the tensile strength of the waterproofing liner.

For this project, Sioen (Manifattura Fontana) supplied approximately 800 000 m² of lightweight geotextile for the PVC waterproofing membrane and more than 100 000 m² of heavy-duty geotextiles (where extra protection was needed because of ballast).

Since the original construction of the Panama Canal in 1881 and the inauguration in 1914, this is the largest project at the canal. The Panama canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. More on the Panama Canal Expansion here.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION Miek Naessens, CMO Sioen Industries NV, Fabriekstraat 23, B-8850 Ardooie - Tel. 0032/51.09.22 - Fax 0032/51.09.79 E-mail: - Website: