ACP announced that, after a thorough review, the Panamanian National Environmental Authority (ANAM) has approved the environmental impact study
(EIS) for the first dry excavation contract for the new Pacific Locks access channel - the first construction project under expansion.
With this approval, the ACP has laid the groundwork for the preliminary stages of the dry excavation. On May 6, 2007, the ACP released its tender (request for proposal submission) for the first dry excavation contract for the new Pacific Locks access channel - the subject of the environmental impact study and the first of five dry excavation projects that will link the new Post-Panamax Locks on the Pacific end of the Canal with the existing Gaillard Cut. Bids are due on July 6, 2007.
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 and wider ships. The ACP undertakes all of its construction programs in accordance with world-class environmental standards and principles as a signatory to the United Nations' Global Compact.
The approved study evaluated hydrological conditions, conducted a forest inventory and analyzed potential air quality effects. It also included meetings with residents of nearby communities. The EIS was then presented to ANAM for final approval.