Final Panama Canal contract awarded

By Steve Skinner30 December 2009

A consortium of Spain's FCC, Mexico's ICA and Costa Rica's Meco has won the final Panama Canal dry-excavation contract with a US$ 267.8 million bid. The consortium beat Belgium's Jan de Nul, Brazil's Oderbrecht and the ISC Panama consortium to win the contract, the second largest in the US$ 5.25 billion canal expansion programme.

The contract involves the excavation of a new channel that will link a new set of locks - yet to be constructed - with the Gaillard Cut, the canal's narrowest stretch. The bid represents the last contract on the canal expansion and will involve the excavation and removal of 27 million m3 of material.

The contract will entail the opening of a 6.1 km access channel as well as the construction of a large earth and rock dam with a watertight clay core.

Panama Canal Authority (PCA) administrator Alberto Aleman Zubieta said, "The excavation project should be finished by 2013, with the entire canal expansion due for completion in 2014."

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