THE COMPETITION for the design and construction of the fourth bridge over the The Panama Canal will is down to four contenders two of them from China.
A consortium formed by the Korean company Hyundai and Sacyr of Spain , has dropped out.
Panama recently established diplomatic relations with China which has been aggressively involved in major railway construction around the world.
Sacyr told La Prensa that the construction companyhas been awarded in the last two years several important bridges in Latin America (Pumarejo and Hisgaura in Colombia) and is working on motorways in in Colombia, Chile and Italy, which include large bridges. The Panama project would need their best teams “which unfortunately we cannot now deflect from those other projects. ”
A consortium led by Constructora Norberto Odebrecht withdrew in January following a Cabinet decision.
Despite warnings from civil society about corruption, Odebrecht had been pre-qualified in the tender for the fourth bridge. The Varela administration had granted it numerous contracts, such as Metro line $2.62 billion and the Colon urban renewal for $569 Million. Panama City followed suit with a $159 million contract.
In December of last year, after revelations of the $788 million bribery in 12 countries, including at least $59 million handed to Panamanian officials between 2010 and 2014, the Government urged Odebrecht to drop out of bidding for the bridge and the third line subway line.
The four groups still in the race are: Dragados Sucursal Panamá, S.A. (Spain); The consortium Astaldi (Italy) – Daelim (South Korea); The Panama Cuarto Puente Consortium, composed of China Communications Construction Company and China Harbor Engineering Company; The CSCEC Fourth Bridge Consortium – CREC, composed of China State Construction Engineering Corporation and China Railway Group.