June 5, 2023
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The Minister of Maritime Affairs, Arq. Noriel Araúz announced that Panama is seeking companies or corporations, joint ventures or associations which would be interested in applying to the “Market Consultation for the Rehabilitation, Development, Administration and Operation of Balboa Shipyard”. The interested parties’ contributions would be included in the requirements specifications [for the future tender]. Balboa Shipyard, located near Balboa Port at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, is the only facility on the Pacific Coast that has a dry dock with the capacity to serve Panamax vessels. It is considered an important asset for the auxiliary maritime industry as well as for the ship repair sector. 

The Market Consultation is a figure which is found in “Article 40 of the Executive Decree No. 40 of April 10, 2018 which regulates Law 22, which regulates Public Procurements”, said Minister Arauz.  Article 40 indicates the following:

“The bidding entities, prior to the celebration of the contractor selection procedure, may carry out consultations or meetings with suppliers, by means of public and open calls through e-mails, invitation notes, publications in printed media or other mechanisms deemed relevant, in order to obtain information about prices, associated costs, characteristics of the goods, services or works required, time for the preparation of the proposals or any other information required for the preparation of the bidding documents”.

The scope of this project is based on obtaining information about the business model for the shipyard’s facilities and being able to survey the current aspects of the market. Once these important data are available, they will be evaluated by the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) for their incorporation in the bidding documents.

Among the details of the consultation, The AMP looks for: Technical opinions regarding the development of current and future operations (breakdown of activities in 20 years); and services that can be provided in the shipyard’s facilities.

For further information on this Market Consultation, the AMP has enabled a link on the institution’s website https://amp.gob.pa/consulta/

The shipyard’s facilities consist in three dry docks: Dock No. 1 which is a replica of the Panama Canal first two sets of locks, has the capacity to receive Panamax vessels with a dimension of 318 meters long and 39 meters wide, with a maximum draft of 7.9 meters.

The other two docks have been used to repair smaller vessels such as tuna boats, fuel barges, tugs and other vessels providing auxiliary maritime services and they have the following dimensions:

-Dock 2: 130 meters long by 30.5 meters wide with a draft of 6.4 meters.

-Dock 3: 70 meters long by 17 meters wide with a maximum draft of 4.3 meters.

In addition, the facilities have an administrative building, pump room, 6 work and storage hangars. “The National Government, through the AMP, will be watching over the best interests of the State for the use of its resources, in order to generate employment and at the same time provide our clients with a quality service and specialized labor; all this with total transparency and responsibility,” added the Minister of Maritime Affairs Noriel Arauz.