Impregilo says Panama bid tops in tech appraisal

Monday, June 15 2009 @ 05:11 pm EDT

Contributed by: Don Winner

SANTA MARGHERITA, Italy (Reuters) - A consortium including Italy's Impregilo SpA has obtained top marks in the technical appraisal of bids to expand the Panama Canal, Impregilo's chairman said on Friday. Impregilo has said the whole Panama expansion project is worth $3.7 billion and it has a potential 37 percent stake in any contract. "The (tender) envelopes will be opened on June 29," Chairman Massimo Ponzellini said during a conference at a meeting of the Confindustria employers association. "We know we have obtained the maximum technical points. We hope to win the contest," he said, without elaborating. Brokers have cited order news, including the Panama project, as supporting a rise in Impregilo's shares. They closed on Friday up 4.17 percent at 2.56 euros. Impregilo's consortium partners are Spain's Sacyr Vallehermoso SA, Portugal's Somague, Belgium's Jan de Nul and Panama's Cusa. Two other consortiums are on the short list. The first is the CANAL grouping including Spain's ACS SA, Acciona SA and Germany's Hochtief AG. The second is a Japanese-U.S. group led by the privately-held Bechtel. (Reporting by Cristina Carlevaro; writing by Nigel Tutt; Editing by Hans Peters)

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