Excavating 65 million cubic meters over 21 years may sound easy to do, but actually executing it is really hard to beat. This is the total cubic meters of the material that Meco has excavated during the various phases working on the Panama Canal, one of the most extraordinary infrastructure works ever built.
Since 1997, Meco has worked – initially together with M&S Corporation – with the Panama Canal Authority, adding experience in the execution of first-world projects in terms of size
, term, quality, occupational safety and environmental respect.
A decade later, in December 2008, Meco was contracted directly to undertake the North Pacific Expansion Canal Project (PAC 3), the third of the five largest earthwork projects in the expansion of the interoceanic highway. It involved an excavation of 8 million cubic meters of material and the cleaning of 190 hectares of unexploded ordnance from the Southern Command. In this excavation, Meco achieved the highest rating in risk prevention.
A year later, in 2009, Meco – together with ICA and FCC, from Mexico and Spain, respectively – , was contracted for the excavation of CAP4; a new four-kilometer-long canal where 31 million cubic meters of material were excavated and a 2.9 kilometer long, 30 meters high clay rock dam with a 180 meters wide base was built. Moreover, a 1.80 kilometers long cellular cofferdam filled with stone material (metal sheet pile) was also built (the second largest contract in economic volume of the expansion plan). The final value of the project was $US 386.4 million dollars. This project was part of an ambitious plan to expand the Panama Canal, which since then has allowed Post Panamax vessels of up to 366 meters long and 49 wide (holding up to 14,000 containers inside) pass through the canal. A total of 25 million cubic meters were excavated.
After more than six years of hard work, on June 26, 2016, the Panama Canal Authority inaugurated the long-awaited expansion, a constructive milestone for humanity, and a key project in the history of Meco.
Meco – together with the Spanish company EPSA – , carried out the subcontract for the construction of the second section of the 2.5 km long Borinquen Dam for Grupo Unidos company, which was the main contractor for the construction of the new Panama Canal locks. For this contract, 17 million cubic meters were moved, and the final contract value was $US 129.5 million dollars.