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The Business of Expansion: Panama Canal kicks off Conference to explain Expansion Program Opportunites

Date: 09-MAR-2007

THREE-DAY INFOCONFERENCE TO PROVIDE NEW INFORMATION ON
EXPANSION PROJECT AND CONTRACTING PROCEDURES

TENDER FOR LOCKS DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT EXPECTED TO BE LET IN THIRD QUARTER OF 2007

PANAMA CITY, Panama, March 09, 2007 – More than 600 representatives from 222 companies and 34 countries arrived at Panama City's ATLAPA Convention Center for the Panama Canal Expansion Infoconference 2007. In the standing room only hall and overflow room, attendees awaited day one of the three-day event hosted by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) that will provide new information on all of the elements of expansion, including the bidding and contracting procedures for the project.

The informational session included presentations from ACP officials regarding design and construction of the locks, dredging, excavations and contracting processes. ACP Maritime Operations Director Jorge Quijano announced that the tender for the new set of locks design and construction contract will likely be let during the third quarter of fiscal year 2007 and fall under a single contract. In addition to the opportunities presented by Panama Canal representatives, Panamanian government officials provided information on local training programs, immigration, labor and tax laws and future projects in Panama. 

ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta greeted Infoconference attendees, encouraging them to learn more about the waterway and the infrastructure work that will generate new opportunities.

"For the first time in its 92-year history, the Panama Canal will be expanded," said Mr. Alemán. "This is a fundamental project of global importance. Expansion will change the way in which the world trades, increase the advantages of the route and reaffirm our commitment to the interoceanic waterway."

In a historic move, Panamanians voted on October 22, 2006 to expand the Canal. Expansion involves building a third lane of traffic along the waterway through the construction of a new set of locks, which will allow more traffic and double Canal capacity. Expansion will tighten the global supply chain and help get goods to market faster, thus saving time and money for both producers and consumers.

The Infoconference will continue until Saturday with visits to both the Pacific and Atlantic work sites, and attendees had the opportunity to meet with local contractors. For more information on the Panama Canal Expansion Infoconference 2007 please visit www.pancanal.com

About the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)

The ACP is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the ACP is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the ACP’s Web site: www.pancanal.com