Interested bidders tour the PAC-4 excavation sitePANAMA CITY, Panama, August 26, 2009 – The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) hosted interested bidders for a site visit and pre-tender meeting for the fourth dry excavation expansion contract (PAC-4) this week. As the second largest and most complex project after the new set of locks, the contract represents more than 50 percent of the total excavation for the new access channel linking the new Pacific locks with the waterway’s existing Gaillard Cut (the narrowest stretch of the Panama Canal).

Representatives from almost 30 companies based in Panama, Latin America and Europe toured the PAC-4 site, located on the Pacific side of the Canal between the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks, and received valuable information on the contract during the pre-tender meeting, both held August 25-26 in Panama.

The ACP released its request for proposals (RFP) July 30 and is now set to receive bids. The bids will be sealed and evaluated in two distinct phases. First, bidders will submit a technical proposal that will allow an evaluation of their experience in comparable projects such as clay-core rock fill dam construction, large excavation and disposal projects and cofferdam construction. In addition, the ACP will analyze several financial requirements. During the second phase, the ACP will evaluate the price proposals of the qualified bidders.

Technical qualifications submissions are due September 15, while technical and price proposals for the contract are due October 30.

Similar to the three preceding dry excavation projects, the ACP will award this contract to the firm or consortium with the lowest price that meets all of the RFP’s requirements.

Major components of PAC-4 include:

  • Excavation, removal and disposal of approximately 26 million cubic meters of material;
  • Construction of a 2.3 kilometers-long and 30 meters-high impervious clay core-rock fill dam with a 180-meters-wide base and a 30-meters-wide top crest, (which comprises approximately 5 million cubic meters of fill);
  • Installation of an approximately 1.7 kilometers-long backfilled cellular cofferdam water barrier; and,
  • Clearing of approximately 80 hectares of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO).

Expansion will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks that will double capacity and allow more traffic and longer, wider ships.

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: