PANAMA CITY, Panama, September 28, 2009 – The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced today that Jan De Nul n.v. has been awarded the contract to dredge the Canal’s Atlantic entrance. The dredging project is another integral element of the Canal’s Expansion Program.

“We are pleased with the competition for this contract for which several premier dredging firms from around the world (Europe, United States and Asia) submitted proposals,” said ACP Executive Vice President of Engineering and Program Management Jorge L. Quijano. “Not only has the ACP benefited from a competitive price that is within the estimated budget, but it is also assured of an effective, high quality execution. The winning company has previously dredged in this area of the Canal; this is why it has the proven capacity to execute this contract without any difficulty.”

After a thorough review of the lowest priced proposal, the ACP awarded the contract to Jan De Nul n.v. for $89,617,317. The tender also included an option to dredge an additional 2.3 million cubic meters. The ACP has 45 days to decide if it exercises the option. Jan De Nul n.v. offered to perform the option for $16,411,600.

The chart below provides the names of the companies that submitted bids September 9 with their corresponding bid prices in U.S. dollars.

Joint Venture Boskalis-Dredging International $ 177,611,840
Van Oord Dredging $ 162,182,828
China Harbour Engineering Co $ 116,732,224
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co $ 195,943,129
Jan De Nul n.v. $ 89,617,317


The Atlantic entrance dredging project ensures that larger, wider ships can reach the new locks. It lowers the Canal bottom to 15.5 meters below the *Mean Low Water (MLW) and includes dredging approximately 14.8 million cubic meters and excavating 800 thousand cubic meters. The area to be dredged on the Atlantic entrance extends approximately 13.8 kilometers. The scope of work also includes widening the existing Atlantic entrance channel from 198 meters to a minimum of 225 meters and the north approach channel to a minimum of 218 meters.

The ACP released its request for proposals for the Atlantic entrance dredging February 27 and held site visits and a pre-tender meeting from April through July. Submissions were received September 9.

The Atlantic entrance dredging is one of several key expansion projects. Expansion will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, which will double capacity and allow more traffic and longer, wider ships. The ACP expects expansion to be completed by 2014.

*Mean Low Water (MLW) is the average of the low tides, which are the reference levels for hydrographical information, survey works and data.

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: