In the News from Panama

Contract Finalized For Metro Line 3

The contract to start work on the third line of the Panama City metro is a done deal. The government announced last week that a $2 billion agreement has been reached with HPH Joint Venture, a Korean consortium, to design, construct and finance the 25-kilometer extension of the region’s first and only metro.

The Korean group was officially chosen last year, but the deal was hung up while competing groups challenged the results of the bidding process. Now that has been resolved and the project is ready to move forward.

Line 3 is the largest construction project in Panama and will be a major extension of the metro network. It will include 14 stations and run from Albrook to Ciudad del Futuro. The line will be served by 28 six-car trains. The start-to-finish trip will take 45 minutes and the extension will have a capacity of 20,000 passengers, per hour in each direction during peak periods, according to news reports.

As the network builds out, the government expects it will start to have a major impact on traffic congestion in the city. All major cities have a rail alternative and the metro helps positions Panama City among the great capitals of the Americas.

The HPH Joint Venture Consortium includes Hyundai E&C, POSCO E&C, and Hyundai Engineering. The group will have 54 months to complete the project, which is expected to create 3,500 direct and 1,000 indirect jobs.

Meanwhile, progress is also continuing on the fourth line of the network, which will cross over the Panama Canal on a new bridge, which will include several lines of auto traffic.