The Panama Canal Authority
(ACP) announced that four global consortia have been selected to bid on the "design-build contract" to create the locks for the Panama Canal expansion
. The Expansion Program will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through
the construction of a new set of locks, doubling capacity and allowing more traffic and longer, wider ships.
In what will be the largest and most important project under the $5.25 billion expansion, the winner of this contract will design and build two locks complexes. Each of the four consortia will be allowed to respond to the ACP's Request for Proposal (RFP), which is expected to be released very soon. The consortia are: Consorcio C.A.N.A.L.; Consorcio Atlántico-Pacífico de Panamá; Consortia Bechtel, Taisei (TISCF)
, Mitsubishi Corporation
; and Consorcio Grupo Unidos por el Canal. (Editor's note: Details of the companies that compose each consortium are listed at the end of this document.)
The qualifying process began August 27, 2007 when the ACP released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the construction of the new set of locks. Following the release of the RFQ, the ACP facilitated a field visit to the expansion work sites and conducted an informational session, where more than 200 questions were received from interested parties. On November 16, 2007, four consortia, composed of 30 companies from 13 countries, submitted Statements of Qualifications. Based on a pass-fail evaluation of criteria and capabilities, today's announcement certifies that each of those consortia indeed qualified to receive and respond to the RFP that will be issued soon.
The new Pacific locks will be located to the southeast side of the Miraflores Locks. The new Atlantic locks will be located to the east of Gatun Locks. Each set of locks will have three levels, also called chambers, and will rely on gravity to operate. Each lock chamber will be accompanied by three water-saving basins, allowing the reutilization of 60 percent of the water in each transit