UPDATE 1-Panama subway project award goes to Linea Uno group

* Linea Uno bid below government estimates for project

* Third Mexican/Spanish group pulled out of bidding
(Adds background, quote from Linea Uno’s Gavioli, byline)

By Sean Mattson

PANAMA CITY, Oct 27 (BestGrowthStock) – A Brazilian and Spanish
construction consortium will build Panama City’s first subway
after submitting a plan that will cost less than Panama’s
government had anticipated.

Linea Uno, which includes Brazil’s Construtora Norberto
Odebrecht and Spain’s FCC (FCC.MC: ), gave a $1.447 billion bid
for the nine-mile (14 km) subway, beating out Impregilo’s
(IPGI.MI: ) all-Italian consortium.

Panama had estimated that it would cost $1.59 billion.

Linea Uno scored 917 points out of a possible 1,000 in a
technical and cost analysis of their proposal, while
Impregilo’s Grupo Italiano Metro de Panama, which includes
Astaldi (AST.MI: ) and Ghella, scored 708.

Antonio Gavioli, manager of the Linea Uno project, said the
consortium’s history working in Panama and technical expertise
gave it the winning edge.

“We have had a very strong team of experts in place … from
the beginning, experts in tunnels, overpasses, and train
electrification,” Gavioli, an executive at Odebrecht, told
Reuters.

A third consortium led by Spain’s Acciona Infraestructuras
that included Mexican construction company ICA (ICA.N: ) (ICA.MX: )
pulled out of the race. ICA said this month it was
concentrating on infrastructure projects in Mexico.
(Reporting by Sean Mattson; writing by Mica Rosenberg)

UPDATE 1-Panama subway project award goes to Linea Uno group