Panama Canal Receives Bids for Third Dry Excavation Expansion ProjectPANAMA CITY, Panama, December 4, 2008  Moving forward with the selection process for the third of four dry excavation contracts under its Canal Expansion Program, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) officially received a total of six bids today. Now, submissions will be thoroughly reviewed and a winner will be determined later this month for this next phase of the project.

The scope of work included in the contract encompasses the excavation, removal and disposal of 8 million cubic meters of material, which will further reduce Paraíso (Paradise) Hill from 46 meters to 27.5 meters above sea level. It also calls for the construction of approximately 2.5 kilometers of access and the clearing of 190 hectares of land bearing munitions and explosives of consideration (MEC), remnants from former U.S. military training in Panama. Ultimately, when this and the fourth contract are completed, a critical access channel linking the new Pacific locks with the Canal’s existing Gaillard Cut (the narrowest stretch of the Panama Canal) will have been created.

Similar to the first and second dry excavation projects, this contract will be awarded to the firm with the lowest-priced bid that meets all of the requirements stated in the request for proposals. Over the next few days the ACP will review the documents submitted by the lowest bidder to verify the company’s experience, technical capacity, financial strength and bonding before awarding the contract.

“With the prices offered today by the bidders for this contract, the Canal’s Expansion program remains on-track and on-budget,” said Executive Vice President of Engineering and Program Management Jorge L. Quijano. “The third dry excavation contract is an essential intermediate step in the creation of the Pacific access channel, and we are pleased with the interest shown by the competing companies. We look forward to reviewing the documentation of the winning bid and welcoming another partner to the Canal Expansion Program.”

Below are companies that submitted bids and the corresponding bid prices.

1.  Conalvias-Retraneq    $61,323,876.97
2.  Constructora Santa Fe, Ltd.    $46,049,339.26
3.  Corporación M&S Int.    $45,218,642.00
4.  Constructora Urbana, S.A.    $38,200,000.00
5.  Constructora Meco, S.A.    $36,659,852.28;
6.  Cilsa Minera María    $74,654,321.90

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: http://www.pancanal.com/.