Panama Canal Modifies Dry Excavation Tender for Expansion

Thursday, June 14, 2007
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has modified the tender for the dry excavation of the new Pacific Locks access channel and extended the bid submission date to July 6, 2007.

On May 7, the ACP released its tender (request for proposal submission) for the dry excavation of the new Pacific Locks access channel - 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 (the narrowest stretch in the Panama Canal). This project is the first construction-related expansion tender and represents approximately 16 percent of the total excavation for the new Pacific Locks access channel. The ACP expects to award the contract in July or August of 2007. The amendments to the tender include technical and legal revisions. Some administrative changes have also been implemented to provide necessary linguistic and grammatical clarifications.

During a three-day conference held May 23-25 in Panama, the ACP hosted representatives from more than 60 companies across the globe interested in learning about the first dry excavation for expansion. At the event, the ACP provided contractors, equipment suppliers and others with information on the project. The ACP has subsequently modified the tender to clarify issues in response to questions and comments from those prospective bidders. In addition to the question and answer session, conference attendees toured the site of the excavation and participated in a core inspection of the Gaillard Cut, whereby prospective bidders were able to physically examine available samples of core drilling extractions. The scope of work for the first dry excavation will include the removal of non-classified material, the disposal of excavated material and the construction of new gravel roads and ditches. Expansion will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, which will double the cargo transiting capacity of the Canal and allow more traffic and wider as well as longer ships.

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