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March 3, 2009

Panama Canal lock bids received

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) continues to press ahead with the start of the bid process for the most important project in its Expansion Program -- construction of the new set of locks.

Today, the ACP received proposals from three consortia competing to design and build the new locks on the Pacific and Atlantic sides of the Panama Canal.

The three consortia that submitted bids included: Consorcio C.A.N.A.L; Consortium Bechtel, Taisei, Mitsubishi Corporation and Consorcio Grupo Unidos por el Canal.

ACP will evaluate the proposals in a fair, rigorous and transparent process, and will award the contract on the basis of "best value" -- 55 percent for the technical aspect and 45 percent for the bid price.

"As we welcome bids for the design and construction of the new locks, we mark yet another historic milestone in Canal expansion," said ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta. "This is an exciting time for the Canal and for Panama as we move forward with the single most important expansion project. We stand committed to hiring a consortium that meets all technical requirements and provides the best value for the project. We are honored and pleased to receive submissions from leading firms in the industry and we will start reviewing the proposals immediately."

The consortia submitted their price and technical proposals. The envelopes containing the price proposals, including the ACP's owner's price, were signed, placed in a box and moved to Panama's National Bank to be locked in a vault. They will not be opened and reviewed until the technical proposals have been evaluated.

The technical proposals will be studied and evaluated immediately by the Evaluation Committee, comprising 15 highly qualified ACP employees, who have alle signed confidentiality and conflict of interest agreements.

On completion of the evaluation, the Contracting Officer will call for another public forum to examine the price proposed by each consortium to execute the project. The technical points awarded to each consortium will be added to the price proposals and the consortium with the highest number of points will be the potential winner. The forum will be held in the coming months after the evaluation is finalized.


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