On-schedule with the Expansion Program timeline, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced on March 2, the Request for Proposals (RFP) to dredge the Canal's Atlantic entrance.
The contract includes the dredging of approximately 15 million underwater cubic meters and 800 thousand cubic meters of dry excavation. It also includes deepening the Canal's Atlantic entrance to 15.5 meters to allow the transit of post-panamax vessels through the new set of locks that will be constructed under the Expansion Program.
With the announcement of the RFP, potential contractors will be allowed a period of three and a half months to evaluate site conditions and one month to submit their proposals. The contract will be awarded under the lowest price model. Proposals are expected to be submitted on July 15, 2009 with the project completion expected sometime in the second quarter of 2013.
In another related development, global transport leaders, contractors, consultants and researchers joined the ACP today for “Connecting the World Through Dredging,” an international seminar on sustainable dredging and maritime construction.
Two foremost international dredging associations are in Panama for this event. The Central Dredging Association (CEDA), which serves Africa, Europe and the Middle East, along with the Western Dredging Association (WEDA), which covers North, Central and South America, organized their first-ever dredging seminar, hosted by the ACP.
Held at the Ascanio Arosemena Complex in Panama City, the one-day conference featured presentations from ACP, CEDA and WEDA experts and covered a number of issues related to the Canal expansion project. Topics include: sustainable navigation and commerce, the environment and planning, execution and dredging for sustainable infrastructure.