Access to the Pacific Ocean in the Panama Canal- Pac 4

Access to the Pacific Ocean in the Panama Canal- Pac 4

This project is situated along the Panama Canal and consists of the excavation of a new course in the Canal that will connect the new locks with the so-called Corte Culebra, the narrowest strip of the waterway close to the Pacific Ocean entrance to the Canal.

The works, executed by FCC, ICA and MECO, consist of the construction of 3.7 kilometres of approach to the Pacific Locks, with a 200-metre width.

It includes the installation of containment structure made up of cellular coffer dams along more than 1.5 kilometres that allows the construction of a 2.9-kilometre long earth and rock dam with an impermeable clay core, with a base approximately 150 metres long and 26 metres high and a 30-metre wide crest. 

The works include the excavation, transport and dumping of some 27 million cubic metres of mainly rocky material.

During the excavation process, a pumping system will be installed because of the presence of water in levels higher than the maximum excavation depth. 

The installation of surface and underground water drainage systems is also contemplated and the implementation and administration of environmental controls.

In addition, the access roadway sand diversion water drainage channels will be constructed, together with tanks and the cleaning of approximately 80 hectares of firing ranges.


Remarkable aspects

  • The purpose of this expansion is to double the transit capacity of the Canal from 300 to 600 million tonnes per year.
  • This project answers the need to enlarge the Canal to enable the ships known as "Post-Panamax" to pass through.

Client: The Panama Canal Authorities

Start date: 2010

End date: November 2015


Bajo Frío Dam, Panama

The hydrological project of Panama

The site of the works can be found in the province of Chiriqui. This is close to the border with Costa Rica, between the towns of Breñón and Santa Cruz, in the Renacimiento district, and the town of Gómez, in the Bugaba district of Panama.

The works carried out by FCC consist of building a gravity and loose material dam that is 56 m high and 405 m long. The first 240 m consist of blocks of conventional concrete and roller-compacted concrete, and the remaining 165 m on the left bank of the dam consist of a loose material with a clay core.

The dam has two spillways, one on a 90 m long free nappe with a drainage capacity of 2,100 m3/s, and the other with two 6 x 5 m chutes and an evacuation capacity of 700 m3/s. 

The project includes two machinery houses: La Potra, which will house three main turbogenerator units with a total power of 28 MW plus a 2.10 MW auxiliary unit; and Salsipuedes, which will have three turbogenerator units with a total power of 28 MW.

The project also includes conditioning the access roads to the dam, a bridge over the Chiriquí River, a 2.1 km long water transmission channel, the loading chamber and the water intake for the Salsipuedes machinery house, which is located at the end of the water transmission channel, and a discharge channel that is approximately 110 m long through which the water flows back into the Chiriquí Viejo River.

The aim of the hydrological project is to benefit the waterfall of the Chiriquí Viejo River, the source of which lies close to the Barú volcano at around 3,500 high. 


Remarkable aspects

  • The works form part of the hydrological project in Panama.
  • The project consists of building a mixed gravity- loose material dam that is 56 m high and 405 m long.
  • The dam will produce an estimated 58 MW.

Client: Fountain Intertrade Corp. (private)

Start date: 2011

End date: February 2016


Building Matías Hernández Collectors and Sub-Collectors

The works consisted of building collectors and sub-collectors for the sanitary sewage system, covering the districts of Panama and San Miguelito.

The project stretched approximately 20 km and the piping to be installed varied from having a 12" diameter, for the PVC pipes, to between 24" and 60" for the reinforced concrete pipes. Other activities connected to the system were also included: the construction of inspection chambers, connections to existing chambers, demolition and repositioning of the street surfacing (hydraulic and asphalt concrete), demolition and repositioning of structures (sidewalks, fences, walls, inverted arches, etc.).


Client: Ministry of Health

Start date: 18 June 2007

End date: 30 January 2013


Decontamination of the Flix reservoir

The Flix reservoir is located in the County of Ribera de Ebro in the Province of Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain.

The execution of this project involves the removal of more than a century of toxic dumping into the River Ebro produced by the activities of the local industries. The cleaning process extracts the sludge, treats it and then returns the water in its natural state to the river

This project, declared as being of general, priority and urgent interest, responds to the principles of the AGUA (Actuaciones para la Gestión y Utilización del Agua - Actions for Water Management and Usage) Programme, which includes operations to improve water management and supply according to current and future needs linked to sustainable territorial development.

The first stage was the establishment of a protected enclosure by constructing a 1.3-kilometre long double wall to separate the work zone from the River Ebro course. The isolation is completed with the construction of secant pile wall on the right bank.

The second stage is based on the extraction of some 960,000 cubic metres of sludge contaminated by accumulated metals, organochlorine compounds and radioactive elements that have penetrated down to 150 metres depth in the river bed. The sludge is extracted by ecological dredging and is then treated by the plants installed in the area.

The treatment process consists of wet material classification in which they are separated in order to commence dehydration treatment of the silt.

All the water extracted by dredging and the various processes, will be treated at the water purification plant before being returned to the protected enclosure. Finally, all the material will be transported to a landfill, specifically constructed for this purpose.

The overall works include complementary actions, such as the installation of an emergency water supply for the townships located downstream on the River Flix and thus, prevent the risk of contamination and to protect the Sebes natural park, located on the bank opposite the factory.


Remarkable aspects

  • A decontamination project that is unique in the world.
  • 930,000 cubic metres of sludge will be extracted in order to remove heavy metals and other contaminating substances.
  • Improvement of the quality of water supplied to over one million people and used to irrigate more than 50,000 hectares.
  • Population safety guaranteed by periodic client controls, measurement of the actual project and the implementation of a Civil Protection Emergency Plan.

Client: Sociedad estatal Aguas de las Cuencas Mediterráneas

Start date: March 2013

End date: Under construction


Dredging of the River Bogotá

The River Bogotá is in the Cundinamarca Department in Colombia, has a length of approximately 380 kilometres and its basin is occupied by close to nine million people.

The River Bogotá project consists of cleaning, expanding and conditioning the river to achieve its recovery as a public space, section I Sector Alicachín by the Cundinamarca Regional Autonomous Corporation, the country's central department, the capital of which is Bogotá.

This contract contemplates the expansion of the river along the forty kilometres that run close to the city on its western side. The goal is to improve water quality, prevent flooding and recover the water course as a multifunctional and recreational zone.

The works consist of relocating and reinforcing of the existing lateral banks, together with the deepening and widening of the river course, including the dredging of material having a certain degree of contamination that is treated before being taken to authorised landfills. It will also include the implementation of a landscape project and the recovery of areas of ecological interest (wetlands and river meanders), the construction of a pumping station and hydraulic protection for four bridges It will include the demolition of various buildings and brick structures and effects on sewer and drainage elements that have to be replaced.

The main works units are as follows 2,700,000 cubic metres (extraction) of sludge and channel, 1,600,000 cubic metres of excavation and the formation of 1,300,000 cubic metres of new banks., 10,000 square metres of geomesh and geomats and 4,000 units of eucalyptus piles were employed In river course and bridge protection.

The river rehabilitation and environmental recovery project form part of the “Río Bogotá” mega-project, the goal of which is to improve the quality of life of the basin inhabitants in association with the river water quality.


Remarkable aspects

  • Adaptation of the hydraulic woks that allow the recovery and decontamination of the River Bogotá.
  • These works form part of the “Río Bogotá” mega-project, the goal of which is to enhance the quality of life of the basin inhabitants by improving the river water quality.

Client: Cundinamarca Regional Autonomous Corporation

Start date: 2013

End date: Under construction