PANAMA CITY, Panama, December 17, 2007 – The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced today that four global consortia have been selected to bid on the “design-build contract” to create the locks for the Panama Canal expansion. The Expansion Program will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, doubling capacity and allowing more traffic and longer, wider ships.

In what will be the largest and most important project under the $5.25 billion expansion, the winner of this contract will design and build two locks complexes. Each of the four consortia will be allowed to respond to the ACP’s Request for Proposal (RFP), which is expected to be released very soon. The consortia are: Consorcio C.A.N.A.L.; Consorcio Atlántico-Pacífico de Panamá; Consortia Bechtel, Taisei, Mitsubishi Corporation; and Consorcio Grupo Unidos por el Canal. (Editor’s note:  Details of the companies that compose each consortium are listed at the end of this document.)

The qualifying process began August 27, 2007 when the ACP released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the construction of the new set of locks. Following the release of the RFQ, the ACP facilitated a field visit to the expansion work sites and conducted an informational session, where more than 200 questions were received from interested parties. On November 16, 2007, four consortia, composed of 30 companies from 13 countries, submitted Statements of Qualifications. Based on a pass-fail evaluation of criteria and capabilities, today’s announcement certifies that each of those consortia indeed qualified to receive and respond to the RFP that will be issued soon.

The new Pacific locks will be located to the southeast side of the Miraflores Locks. The new Atlantic locks will be located to the east of Gatun Locks. Each set of locks will have three levels, also called chambers, and will rely on gravity to operate. Each lock chamber will be accompanied by three water-saving basins, allowing the reutilization of 60 percent of the water in each transit.

“We are one step closer to beginning the construction of the new locks. These are extraordinarily exciting times – for all here in Panama, in the maritime industry and those involved in world trade in general. These four consortia bring world-class expertise – with members of all the participating consortia making the top 30 list of Global Contractors. They all definitely have a wealth of experience, know-how, and financial strength to make this next phase a very competitive process,” said ACP Executive Vice President of Engineering and Program Management Jorge L. Quijano.

Prior to the release of the RFP, the ACP will meet with the qualifying firms regarding the contract and other items specific to the construction of the new set of locks. After receiving and analyzing all questions from the firms, any adjustments deemed necessary by the ACP will be incorporated into the RFP. The pre-qualified consortia will have eight months from the date of issuance of the RFP to present their technical proposals and budgets. Following a thorough evaluation, the contract is scheduled to be awarded in December 2008.

The table below lists the participating companies within each of the four consortia.

Consorcio C.A.N.A.L.

Consortium Members:

  • ACS Servicios, Comunicaciones y Energía, S.L. – Leader, Gate Manufacturers (Spain)
  • Acciona Infraestructuras, S.A. – (Spain)
  • Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas, S.A. – (Spain)
  • Hochtief Construction AG – (Germany)
  • Constructoras ICA S.A. de C.V. – (Mexico)

Designers (subcontractors):

  • Sener Ingeniería y Sistemas, S.A. – (Spain)
  • Haskoning Nederland BV – (Holland)
  • Hochtief Consult – (Germany)
  • Mott Macdonald Limited – (United Kingdom)

Gate Manufacturers:

  • ACS Servicios, Comunicaciones y Energía, S.L. – (Spain)

Consorcio Atlántico-Pacífico de Panamá

Consortium Members:

  • Bouygues Travaux Publics – Leader (France)
  • Bilfinger Berger – (Germany)
  • VINCI Construction Grands Projets – (France)
  • Construcoes e Comercio Camargo Correa S.A. – (Brazil)
  • Construtora Andrade Gutierrez S.A. – (Brazil)
  • Construtora Queiroz Galvao S.A. – (Brazil)
  • ALSTOM Hydro Energia Brasil – (France)
  • BARDELLA Industrias Mecánicas – (Brazil)

Designers (subcontractor):

  • AECOM – Leader (United States)

Gate Manufacturers:

  • ALSTOM Hydro Energia Brasil – (France)

Bechtel, Taisei, Mitsubishi Corporation

Consortium Members:

  • Bechtel Internacional, Inc. – Leader (United States)
  • Taisei Corporation – (Japan)
  • Mitsubishi Corporation – (Japan)


  • Bechtel Internacional, Inc. – Leader (United States)

Gate Manufacturers (subcontractor):

  • Wuchang Shipyard – (China)

Grupo Unidos por el Canal

Consortium Members:

  • Sacyr Vallehermoso S.A. – Leader (Spain)
  • Impregilo S.p.A. – (Italy)
  • Jan de Nul n.v. – (Belgium)
  • Constructora Urbana, S.A. – (Panama)

Designers (subcontractors):

  • Montgomery Watson Harza (MWH) – Leader (United States)
  • IV-Groep – (Holland)
  • Tetra Tech – (United States)

Gate Manufacturers (subcontractor):

  • Heerema Fabrication Group – (Holland)

About the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)

The ACP is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the ACP is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the ACP’s Web site: For Panama Canal video, please visit


This material is distributed by DJE, Inc. on behalf of the Panama Canal Authority. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.