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Mega $3.5bn Panama Canal expansion deal won by Italian-led consortium

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has determined that a consortium led by Italian firm Impreglio offers the “best value” proposal for the $3.5bn locks expansion contract.

The team, which includes MWH, proposes to construct the locks for just $3.12bn, a job estimated by owner Panama Canal Authority (ACP) to cost $3.48bn.

Three world-renowned consortia competed to win the largest and most important contract in the Canal’s expansion programme. Consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal is composed of Sacyr Vallehermoso, Impregilo, Jan De Nul and Constructora Urbana. It scored the highest total points for its combined technical and price scores.

In a public ceremony, ACP first presented the scores obtained from the technical evaluations and opened the price proposals submitted by all three consortia. Displayed on large video screens for the audience to view, ACP opened the sealed price proposals and revealed the technical scores - all done in the presence of a Public Notary and ACP’s outside auditing firm. ACP then calculated a final weighted score - 55% for the technical proposal and 45% for the price submission - live and on-screen. 

The points for the price proposal and technical evaluation from each consortium were then combined and the highest total score became the “best value” offer.

“Today’s event marks a critical milestone for the ACP and Panama as we determine which consortium will design and build the Canal’s new locks,” said ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta. “Throughout the review period, the ACP’s Technical Evaluation Board and external auditors worked tirelessly to ensure an airtight course of action that reflects our staunch commitment to a fair, rigorous and transparent contracting process. Certainly, each step brings us closer to our end goal - the historic expansion of the Panama Canal - and we look forward to awarding the contract in the coming days.”

ACP expects to award the contract in the next few days and will formally announce the winner online .

ACP is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal.

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