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Panama Canal postpones locks bid deadline

Panama Canal postpones locks bid deadline

Panama City: The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced it has postponed the submission of bids for the construction of a new set of locks to March 3, 2009. The ACP said the delay would not have a major impact on its seven-year expansion project.
The ACP deadline was December 10, 2008, but the four consortia vying for the largest contract of the waterway expansion had requested additional time to present their proposals. The three additional months given to the consortia will result in more fully developed bids on both the technical and price proposals, ultimately benefitting the project, said the ACP in a statement.
The locks, which will be 427mtr long, 55mtr wide and 18.3mtr deep, will allow the transit of post-Panamax vessels, 12,500teu vessels, suezmax tankers and capesize bulkers.
The ACP recently sais it had secured $2.3Bn in loans from the European Development Bank, IDB, CAF, IFC and JBIC, and commercial banks that will finance 40% of the total cost of $5.25Bn expansion project. According to the Yomiuri Shimbun, "Japanese financial institutions have agreed in principle with the Panama Canal Authority to provide $800M for the project to widen the canal". The Japanese newspaper said that "The Japan Finance Corporation's Japan Bank for International Cooperation will provide $400M, and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and others will provide the remaining $400M through joint financing." Japan is the third most frequent user of the waterway following The US and China. [27/10/08]


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