STUDY REINFORCES CANAL’S COMMITMENT TO ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
CONTRACT AWARDED TO A REPUTABLE, INTERNATIONAL FIRM TO WORK WITH LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS
PANAMA CITY, Panama, March 12, 2007 – The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) recently announced that it has awarded the contract to conduct an environmental impact study for the Panama Canal expansion to URS Holdings, Inc. This firm will work with well-established, local organizations such as Fundación de la Universidad de Panamá, Fundación Universidad Nacional Autonóma de Chiriquí (UNACHI) and Entrix, a professional environmental consulting company. The study will entail analyzing baseline information and extensive data obtained by the ACP, identifying and evaluating potential impacts, formulating a Community Participation Plan and an Environmental Management Plan. The study is slated to be completed in approximately nine months.
The ACP solicited bids for the contract last December and, after thorough evaluation of the proposals it received, the contract was awarded to the abovementioned entities. URS Holdings’ proposal received the highest score in a technical evaluation and had the most competitive price. The bidding process was based on technical aspects such as methodology, company and technical personnel experience, quality control, creation of consortiums with national institutions and references. URS Holdings was required to show it is registered with the Record of Environment Consultants of the National Environmental Authority of Panama and is certified to prepare environmental impact studies.
“Finding the right company to undertake this important task has been one of the top priorities for the ACP from day one. Protecting the environment is imperative for the Canal expansion project,” said Maritime Operations Director Jorge L. Quijano. “We are confident that URS Holdings, Fundación de la Universidad de Panamá, Fundación UNACHI and Entrix all share our commitment to excellence and quality,” added Quijano.
In an historic move, Panamanians voted on October 22, 2006 to expand the Canal. Expansion involves building a third lane of traffic along the waterway through the construction of a new set of locks, which will allow more traffic and double Canal capacity. Expansion will tighten the global supply chain and help get goods to market faster, thus saving time and money for both producers and consumers.
The ACP undertakes all of its construction programs in accordance with world-class environmental standards and principles, and is a signatory to the UN’s Global Compact. The ACP is also led by 11 “Guiding Principles” that have been at the center of the organization’s goals, objectives and operations. These Principles focus on the ACP’s commitment to quality customer service and its dedication to its primary stakeholder – the Panamanian people.
About URS Holdings, Inc.
URS Holdings, Inc. is one of the largest engineering design firms worldwide and a leading U.S. federal government contractor. URS focuses primarily on providing professional and technical services in the engineering, construction services and defense markets. URS executes large and complex engineering projects and provides a comprehensive range of professional planning and design, systems engineering and technical assistance, program and construction management, and operations and maintenance services.
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: www.pancanal.com.