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Belgium Heavy Contractor Wins Panama Canal Dredging Award

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A Belgium contractor has snagged the second of two massive dredging contracts to deepen and widen the entrances of the Panama Canal, an integral element of the waterway’s $5.2-billion expansion project. The Jan De Nul Group, Hofstade/Aalst, submitted the winning bid of $89.6 million to dredge the canal’s Atlantic entrance to 15.5 meters below mean water level to allow large ships access to the canal, and $16.4 million for a contract option to dredge an additional 2.3 million cu meters. The company is part of the Grupo Unidos por el Canal consortium that earlier this year won the $3.48-billion contract to design and build a set of new locks that are the core of the expansion effort. The consortium is headed by Spanish contractor Sacyr Vallehermoso SA and includes companies from Italy, Panama, Holland and the U.S. Other bids submitted for the dredging contract ranged from $116.7 million to $195.9 million, according to the Panama Canal Authority.

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