PANAMA CITY, July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Aconex, the world's largest provider of project collaboration solutions to the construction and engineering industries, has been selected to service the US$3.2 billion Panama Canal Third Set of Locks Project. The web-based Aconex system will provide all the organizations engaged on the program with a central platform for managing information and project communication.
The new set of locks, at the heart of the $5.25 billion expansion of the Panama Canal, will allow the waterway to double its shipping capacity by 2025. The project involves the construction of two new lock complexes – one on the Pacific and one on the Atlantic side of the Canal – that will be 40 percent longer and 60 percent wider than the originals. Each lock will have three chambers and each chamber will have three water recycling basins. The expansion program is scheduled for completion in 2014, 100 years after the canal first opened.
Aconex CEO, Leigh Jasper, said, "The Panama Canal Expansion is one of the world's great engineering projects and so we are proud to be supporting its delivery. Over the past ten years, Aconex has built an unparalleled ability to service complex, multi-billion dollar projects such as this one. The challenges that these projects face – such as linking global business partners, managing risk and ensuring compliance with stakeholder requirements – make it essential to have an effective, neutral and professionally-managed collaboration platform to control the flow of information."
The Expansion project team comprises leading international contractors and consultants. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP), which operates the Canal, appointed CH2M Hill of the United States as Program Manager. Grupo Unidos por el Canal ("Grupo") – a joint venture consortium of Impregilo of Italy, Sacyr Vallehermoso of Spain, Jan de Nul Group of Belgium and Constructora Urbana of Panama – was awarded the design and build contract. The design consortium, CICP, is led by MWH Global and includes participants from the U.S., Argentina, Italy and the Netherlands.
Jasper said, "The project team will be made up of hundreds of participants based across the Americas and Europe, that will need to exchange tens of thousands of documents and correspondence items each month. As a result, efficient collaboration between parties will be integral to the project's success.
"Aconex will provide a secure, common platform for project communication that will link all the entities. All project members will be able to access, distribute and track their documents and correspondence in real time, regardless of their location.
"This will save time by enabling fast access to information, reduce printing and distribution costs, and reduce exposure to risks such as disputes and delays. Most importantly, throughout the program's lifecycle, all parties will have the confidence that their project information is accessible, accurate and secure."
Jasper added, "Our philosophy has always been that providing the technology is only part of the solution. On every project, we aim to drive high rates of adoption and usage. Users can access the system in Spanish, English or one of the other available languages. In addition, through our global network of offices, we provide full training and unlimited support to all project participants, ensuring that every organization on the project derives maximum value from using Aconex."
Aconex online project management system will integrate with a number of enterprise applications, including Microsoft Sharepoint® and Oracle's Primavera Contract Management®, to provide project-wide collaboration and control.
Aconex Director of Product, Robert Phillpot, commented, "Deployment of Aconex on a project can unlock additional value in these types of IT applications by ensuring that project data is comprehensively captured. Customers get both the scalability and flexibility of a project-wide, Software as a Service solution, and the knowledge that internal records management protocols are being adhered to."
From its 37 offices worldwide, Aconex, www.aconex.com, services US$220 billion worth of projects in 65 countries. Its clients include AECOM, Parsons Brinckerhoff, IKEA, Las Vegas Sands and McDonald's Restaurants.