PANAMA CITY, Panama, October 5, 2009 – The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced that it awarded the contract to perform quality assurance material testing to Laboratorios Contecon Urbar Panama, S.A.  After thoroughly reviewing bid submissions and ensuring compliance with its regulations, the ACP confirmed the winner.

Key to the success of the new locks construction, Laboratorios Contecon Urbar Panama, S.A.  will verify and monitor the quality of materials and methods used by Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), the consortium awarded the contract to design and build the waterway’s new set of locks. The firm will also verify GUPC’s field and laboratory testing results, analyzing elements such as cement and concrete, among other materials. Subsequently, both GUPC and Laboratorios Contecon Urbar Panama, S.A.  will submit their findings to the ACP’s quality assurance engineers.

“As the new locks represent the most important expansion project, the ACP remains committed to ensuring that the best materials and methodologies are utilized in the locks’ construction. Conducting verifiable quality assurance at this stage is essential to the completion of this project,” said ACP Executive Vice President of Engineering and Program Management Jorge L. Quijano. “We welcome Laboratorios Contecon Urbar Panama, S.A. onboard as we gear up for the next phase in building the new locks.”

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

Ingeniería, Diseño, Estudios y Asesorías S.A./S&ME (Consortium) $1,182,073.42
MACTEC Engineering and Consulting Corp. (MACTEC Panama) $875,505.00
Ingeniería PREGO, S.A. $765,046.00
Laboratorios Contecon Urbar Panama, S.A. $629,806.50


The two-part bidding process for the quality assurance material testing contract began September 4 when interested bidders presented technical documentation, including the minimum qualification requirements, necessary for participation in the bid. Companies vying for the contract were required to demonstrate their capability to provide laboratory services for material and soil testing for the construction of the new set of locks on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides.

After comprehensive analysis of the qualifications by a technical evaluating committee, comprised of Canal experts, the qualified bidders were notified of their selection September 18 and asked to submit their price proposals.

During the second stage of the bidding process, four companies submitted price proposals during a public ceremony September 25, with Laboratorios Contecon Urbar Panama, S.A.  presenting the lowest price proposal at a total of US $629,806.50. Moreover, this lowest price submission fell below the ACP’s estimated price for the contract.

The price submissions are based on the total price of the first year of work, although this one-year base contract has an option for a maximum five-year extension.

About Laboratorios Contecon Urbar Panama, S.A.
Laboratorios Contecon Urbar Panama, S.A., founded in 1998, is a leader in the construction material quality control field. Its mission is to provide superior service to the construction sector through various laboratory tests of construction materials, offering appropriate support and complying with industry standards. Laboratorios Contecon Urbar Panama, S.A.  provides their services across Latin America and has offices throughout the region.

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: http://www.pancanal.com/.