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Deadline for Panama’s Fourth Line tender postponed [free access]

January 31, 2019

Panamanian officials have postponed the deadline for the public bidding on the 500 kV Chiriquí Grande–Panamá III Transmission Line, also known as the Fourth Line, till March 28. This is in line with the request of the prequalified bidders of the project to postpone the tender’s deadline to get more time to prepare their proposals. Originally the bids were due on February 28, 2019.


The project entails construction of a double-circuit, 317-km, 500 kV transmission line between Chiriquí Grande and Panama III substation, the 500/230 kV Chiriqui Grande substation, and expansion of the Panama III substation. The project will have a transport capacity of 1,400 MW under normal operating conditions and 1,800 MW under emergency conditions.


It will be developed in two phases. Phase I will entail construction of the line and substations. In this phase, the line will operate at 230 kV. Phase II will include the 500 kV energisation of the line, for which the construction of the 500 kV yards of the Chiriqui Grande and Panama III substations will be undertaken.


Panama’s state transmission company Empresa de Transmision Electrica (ETESA) is planning to develop the project through a competitive bidding process. The selected company will be awarded a build, operate and transfer (BOT) contract, and will be responsible for the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the Fourth Line for an estimated period of at least 20 years. The government has already published the specifications of the design and engineering, construction, supply and installation, commissioning, and operation and maintenance (O&M) parameters of the project.


The pre-qualified bidders are Colombian Interconexión Eléctrica (ISA); China-based China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Company Limited; Spain-based Consorcio Chiriquí Transmisora de Energía [formed by Elecnor and Abengoa–Algonquin Global Energy Solutions (AAGES)]; Consorcio Four Seasons (formed by Sterlite Power, RTE International, Egis Group, and Andrade Gutierrez); and Consorcio de Transmisión Vasco Núñez de Balboa (formed by Northland Power Development Services, Cobra Instalacions Y Servicios, Manitoba Hydro International Limited; and Control Y Montajes Industriales CYMI SA).


The construction of the project is scheduled to begin in 2020.