Panama Canal Awards Locks Contract

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced that Consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal will design and build the waterway's new set of locks, the most anticipated project of the Panama Canal Expansion Program.

Grupo Unidos por el Canal, composed of Sacyr Vallehermoso S.A., Impregilo S.p.A., Jan De Nul n.v. and Constructora Urbana, S.A., was one of three world-renowned consortia vying for the largest and most important contract under the Canal's expansion.

The ACP revealed that Grupo Unidos por el Canal submitted the "best value" proposal for the new set of locks contract during a public event held Wednesday, July 8. The event, broadcast live on Panamanian television and the ACP Web site, was attended by Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli and many high-ranking government officials. The winning consortium garnered the highest total points for its combined technical and price scores.

At the July 8 event, the ACP revealed the technical scores and opened the consortia's sealed price proposals. All scores were displayed on large video screens -- in the presence of a Public Notary and the ACP's independent auditing firm, Deloitte, which attested that the established evaluation process was thoroughly followed by the ACP Technical Evaluation Board. The ACP then calculated a final weighted score -- constituting 55 percent for the technical proposal and 45 percent for the price submission -- live and on-screen.

The points for the price proposal and technical evaluation from each consortium were then combined and the highest total score became the "best value" offer.

The base price of $3,118,880,001.00 submitted by Grupo Unidos por el Canal did not exceed the ACP's owner's allocated price of $3,481,000,000.00.

Following the "best value" determination last week, the Price Verification Board, an independent group of ACP employees not involved with the Technical Evaluation Board, ensured that the consortium's price proposal complied with the established requirements of the ACP. In addition, the ACP Contracting Officer confirmed the contractor's qualifications pursuant to the established ACP contracting regulations.

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