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Multinational consortium bags Panama Canal locks contract

Multinational consortium bags Panama Canal locks contract

Panama City: The Panama Canal Authority formally awarded the contract to design and build a third set of locks to the Consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal, which had submitted the lowest bid of $3.12bn, writes Journal of Commerce.

The multinational consortium, which is composed of Sacyr Vallehermoso of Spain, Impregilo of Italy, Jan De Nul of Luxembourg, and Constructora Urbana of Panama, was one of three global engineering consortia that competed for the largest and most important contract under the canal's expansion.

The canal authority's contracting officer, Adriano Espino, said the group's proposal presented the "best value," based on weighted total scores - 55% for the technical proposal and 45% for the price. Technical points awarded to each consortium were calculated and added with the price proposal to determine the total number of points.

The other two bidders were a consortium of Bechtel and Japanese firms Taisei and Mitsubishi, which bid $4.19bn; and a consortium of Spanish giants ACS, FCC, Acciona and Mexican firm ICA, which bid $5.98bn. The canal authority had drawn up a target price of $3.48bn.

When completed in 2014, the project will allow 12,600teu vessels to transit the canal. The three bids for the new locks contract were revealed at a public ceremony on July 8, when the authority declared that Grupo Unidos por el Canal submitted the "best value" proposal. Today's formal contract award followed verification of the consortium's bid and its capabilities.

"After identifying Grupo Unidos por el Canal as the consortium with the 'best value' proposal last week, we verified its price submission based on ACP requirements and regulations. And we concluded that the consortium has the resources to perform the project and bring it to completion," Espino said.

Following the "best value" determination last week, the Price Verification Board, an independent group of canal authority employees not involved with the Technical Evaluation Board, ensured that the consortium's price proposal complied with the established requirements.

In addition, the canal authority's contracting officer confirmed the contractor's qualifications in accordance with the authority's contracting regulations.

The canal authority said it will issue an "order to proceed" for the work to commence at a date that is yet to be determined in due course. The authority expects the winning consortium to begin work no later than 42 days from the awarding.  [17/07/09]

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