Panamanian firm Constructora Urbana SA (CUSA) won the first dry-excavation contract in July 2007 with a low bid of $41.1 million for the Pacific locks access channel, but was outbid for the two subsequent jobs. However, CUSA offered its services to the winning firms and netted subcontracting jobs with both. “We have the equipment out there already, and we can pretty much keep doing what we have been doing,” says CUSA Executive Vice President Carlos Fábrega. “We keep our equipment operating and our people at work.”
That is important in case the firm snags the final dry-excavation contract, expected to be let later this year. But the overall strategy, is for CUSA to position itself for the locks bid, Fábrega adds. CUSA is part of Grupo Unidos por el Canal, one of the three consortiums vying for that design-build contract.