PANAMA CITY, Panama, July 16, 2008 – Today, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) officially received a total of five bids from some of the world’s top insurance brokerage firms vying to provide consulting services for three contracts under the Canal Expansion Program. The ACP will thoroughly review the submissions and a winner will be announced in the coming weeks.

“The first step in identifying the best insurance plan for the remaining expansion projects is to choose a knowledgeable and experienced advisor with a competitive price,” said ACP Contracts Administration Manager for Engineering and Program Management Francisco Miguez. “We’ve received bids from some of the industry’s best and look forward to beginning a successful partnership to continue the ACP’s progress in expanding our waterway.”

In a public ceremony attended by ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta, each of the bids was revealed and recorded. Subsequently, the ACP will select the firm with the lowest bid amount that meets all of the project’s criteria and needs as described in the request for proposal submission released June 16. The contract will be renewable on an annual basis for the duration of the Expansion Program with services to begin January 1, 2009.

The chosen firm will assist the ACP in obtaining construction risk policy and general liability insurance coverage for the new locks and the fourth and fifth dry excavation projects of the new Pacific locks access channel. This channel will link the new third set of locks on the Pacific end of the Canal with the existing Gaillard Cut (the narrowest stretch in the Panama Canal).

The chart below shows the companies that submitted bids and their corresponding bid price.

1.   Jardine Lloyd Thompson Ltd. (England) $1,860,000
2.   Arthur Gallagher & Co. (United States) $3,660,000
3.   Willis Limited (England) $695,000
4.   Marsh USA Inc. (United States) $825,585
5.   AON Global (Mexico) $1,167,250

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.

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: