PANAMA CITY, Panama, August 13, 2009 – Today, Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta briefed U.S. government representatives and transportation and engineering leaders on the ACP’s innovative Expansion Program contracting process at the 12th Annual Transportation & Infrastructure Summit in Irving, Texas. During the panel session, “Moving the World’s Cargo,” the Canal Administrator described the development of the ACP’s contracting process, which has received praise from the maritime industry and other international organizations for its proven effectiveness in awarding contracts for the waterway’s expansion.

“The Panama Canal Expansion Program, which will allow a greater number of ships and larger vessels to transit the Canal, is immensely important to the people of Panama and the global maritime industry,” said Mr. Alemán Zubieta. “To ensure expansion continues to move ahead on time and on budget, the ACP has created an airtight contracting process. This process has proven extremely successful in acquiring the goods and services needed for expansion and has set a new standard for fairness, rigor and transparency.”

Slated for completion in 2014, the $5.25 billion Expansion Program will double Canal capacity by building a new lane of traffic. Mr. Alemán Zubieta also outlined the awarding of the largest and most important expansion contract – the design and build of the new set of locks on the Pacific and Atlantic ends of the Canal. Following the ACP’s contracting process, consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal was awarded the contract July 15.

Hosted by the City of Irving, the Summit is the world’s premier multimodal transportation conference with participants from 41 U.S. states, 13 countries and 55 national and international trade and transportation organizations. The purpose of the Summit is to educate U.S. transportation and public policy leaders, private sector leaders and trade associations and groups about current transportation issues throughout the world.

This year’s event brought leading experts together to define the challenges facing America’s infrastructure needs, with the goal of providing viable solutions for the next generation.

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: