Tender for fourth bridge over the Panama Canal postponed

Four groups will compete to build the fourth bridge over the Panama Canal, following the withdrawal of the consortium formed by the Korean Hyundai and the Spanish Sacyr, which join the departure of the group CCB, conformed by the Brazilian Odebrecht that was told to resign in January.

The Ministry of Public Works modified the date of receipt of offers, so that on September 5 the two consortiums integrated by Chinese companies, one led by an Italian and one by a Spanish company, will begin to compete for the project.

Artist impression of the fourth bridge over the Canal.

Artist impression of the fourth bridge over the Canal.

Despite the cases of corruption linked to Odebrecht, the company had been prequalified in the tender for the fourth bridge, but in December, after it was discovered to have paid $788 million in bribes in 12 countries, of which about $59 million went to Panamanian officials between 2010 and 2014, Odebrecht had to abandon its aspirations to participate in the fourth bridge.

Now the tender should be settled between Dragados Sucursal Panama, S.A. (Spain) the consortium Astaldi (Italy) – Daelim (South Korea) and the Panama Cuarto Puente Consortium, comprised of China Communications Construction Company and China Harbour Engineering Company and the CSCEC – CREC Fourth Bridge Consortium, made up of China State Construction Engineering Corporation and China Railway Group.

At the request of the companies, the date was postponed by one month.

“The competition among participants is the one thing that is going to give really better prices. The more companies there are, the more opportunities there are for a good price,” said the president of the Panamanian Chamber of Construction.

The Government of Panama chose to contract its large projects with a bidding model that includes study, design and construction. However, the Panamanian Society of Engineers and Architects (SPIA) prefers to see the tender separating the design and construction.

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