Panama Canal Announces Best Value Proposal for New Set of Locks Expansion ContractPANAMA CITY, Panama July 8, 2009 – After months of rigorous technical review, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) today determined the “best value” proposal for the new set of locks expansion contract. Consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal composed of Sacyr Vallehermoso S.A., Impregilo S.p.A., Jan De Nul n.v. and Constructora Urbana, S.A. garnered the highest total points for its combined technical and price scores. Three world-renowned consortia competed to win the largest and most important contract under the Canal’s Expansion Program.

In a public ceremony, the ACP first presented the scores obtained from the technical evaluations and opened the price proposals submitted by all three consortia. Displayed on large video screens for the audience to view, the ACP opened the sealed price proposals and revealed the technical scores – all done in the presence of a Public Notary and the ACP’s outside auditing firm. The ACP then calculated a final weighted score – constituting 55 percent for the technical proposal and 45 percent for the price submission – live and on-screen.

The points for the price proposal and technical evaluation from each consortium were then combined and the highest total score became the “best value” offer.

The base price of US $3,118,880,001.00 submitted by Grupo Unidos por el Canal does not exceed the ACP’s owner’s allocated price of US $3,481,000,000.00.

“Today’s event marks a critical milestone for the ACP and Panama as we determine which consortium will design and build the Canal’s new locks,” said ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta. “Throughout the review period, the ACP’s Technical Evaluation Board and external auditors worked tirelessly to ensure an airtight course of action that reflects our staunch commitment to a fair, rigorous and transparent contracting process. Certainly, each step brings us closer to our end goal – the historic expansion of the Panama Canal – and we look forward to awarding the contract in the coming days.”

Based on total scores and the criteria laid out by the ACP, Grupo Unidos por el Canal’s proposal submission is the “best value.”

What is “Best Value?”

The “best value” proposal was determined based on weighted total scores – 55 percent for the technical proposal and 45 percent for the price submission. Technical points awarded to each consortium were added and calculated with the price proposal to determine the total number of points.

The Evaluation Process: Fair, Rigorous and Transparent

After all three consortia submitted proposals March 3, the ACP Contracting Officer and his team of specialists, which included the ACP Inspector General, auditPanama Canal Announces Best Value proposal for new set of locks expansion contractors from world-renowned firm Deloitte and the Public Notary, opened the technical proposals. The proposals were then divided into three areas for evaluation: 1) execution plan, construction, operations and maintenance; 2) design of electro mechanicals and controls; 3) design of the hydraulic system, lock gates and structures.

During the evaluation process, more than 50 local and international experts provided on-the-ground support for the Technical Evaluation Board, working in coordination with the official ACP Contracting Officer. Deloitte served as auditor and reviewed the process to certify that this committee followed the necessary procedures to evaluate the bids.

In addition, all Technical Evaluation Board members signed confidentiality and conflict-of-interest agreements.

Price Proposals Only Opened Today

Price proposals submitted by all the consortia, including the owner’s allocated base price, were all sealed and placed in a vault at Panama’s National Bank March 3 and opened for the first time at the public ceremony today.

What’s Ahead?

The Price Verification Board is composed of ACP employees who were not part of the Technical Evaluation Board. Their primary function is to verify that the price proposal complies with the established requirements of the ACP. The ACP Contracting Officer will proceed to verify the contractor’s qualifications pursuant to the established ACP contracting regulations prior to awarding the contract.

The ACP expects to award the contract in the next few days and will formally announce the winner on the ACP’s Web site at http://www.pancanal.com/.

Panama Canal Announces Best Value Proposal for New Set of Locks Expansion Contract

Final tabulation scores from the Technical Evaluation Board and the corresponding prices submitted by the consortia are below:


Technical Score

Base Price Proposal in U.S. Dollars

Price Score

Total Points

Bechtel, Taisei Mitsubishi Corporation

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

  • 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)
Grupo Unidos por el Canal

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

The base price of US $3,118,880,001.00 submitted by Grupo Unidos por el Canal does not exceed the ACP’s owner’s allocated price of US $3,481,000,000.00.

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 ACP is governed by its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the ACP’s Web site: www.pancanal.com.