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Panama Canal Releases First Construction Project Tender for Expansion

Date: 14-MAY-2007

FIRST TENDER IS FOR DRY EXCAVATION

PANAMA CITY, Panama, May 14, 2007 - On Monday, May 7, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) got one step closer to beginning its historic expansion with the release of the first construction project tender (request for proposal submission) for dry excavation along the north access channel on the Pacific end of the Canal.

The Expansion Program adds a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, which will double the tonnage capacity and allow the transit of substantially larger vessels. The North Pacific channel excavation, which will be located west of Pedro Miguel and locks, is the first of five dry excavation projects that will help link the new Post-Panamax Locks on the Pacific end of the Canal to the existing Gaillard Cut and represents approximately 16 percent of the total excavation for the new Pacific Locks Access Channel.

The scope of work under the contract will include: the removal of non-classified material and disposal of excavated material at indicated locations, and the construction of new gravel roads and ditches.

"We are making history with the release of the first construction project tender. The Expansion is moving forward with good progress," said ACP Engineering and Programs Management Director Jorge L. Quijano. "We hope to attract firms with significant experience in this type of work as we begin this important phase of the project."

Information about this tender (No. 67252) is now available through the ACP's online bidding system (SLI), http://www.pancanal.com/esp/procsales/buy.html or via the ACP's Web site at www.pancanal.com. Interested parties have 55 days from the tender release date for bid submissions. The ACP expects to award the contract in July or August 2007.

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.