Latin America News – The President of Panama travelled the entire 13.7km route of the Panama Metro Line 1 – built by global infrastructure group FCC – between Albrook and Los Andes stations on board the Metro Unit 006. Ricardo Martinelli, the President of the Republic, was accompanied by the Minister for Canal Affairs and the Executive Secretary of the Metro, Roberto Roy, as well as other Cabinet members and the Executives of the Consortium formed by FCC and Odebrecht.
The Panama Metro Line 1 project has been in execution for 33 months and the first stage is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014. Since beginning of construction the project has already been expanded to include another 2.2 kilometres and two new stations – meaning the total will be 15.9 kilometres, covered in just 22 minutes.
Yesterday’s tour is part of the dynamic tests which have been underway since the end of August in the Yards and Workshop zone, as well as at underground and elevated sections.
• The construction of Panama Metro Line One, which began in November 2010, is progressing according to schedule, and is now 94% completed.
• At present work is focused on performing the required tests on all installed equipment and systems such as: the catenary (structure that provides power to the trains) , railways (rails and components), among other components.
• In addition, work is being carried out on civil finishing in all stations, which includes painting, roof and wall coating, polishing floors, railings and windows. Albrook and 5 de Mayo stations have reported amazing progress – both are missing only minimal details prior to completion.
• Work has begun on the restitution of flagstones in underground stations, which will begin with landscaping in the entrance area – pavement placing on sidewalks, painting and signage.
• Currently , 15 of the 19 trains which will form the fleet of Metro are being kept in the Yards and Workshops zones, over the next two months the last four will be shipped to Panama .
Movement trials or dynamic testing
Movement trials or dynamic tests assess the operational components of vehicles related to their cirulation. So far tests have shown compliance. The testing of static functionality protocols is still underway, which are dynamic tests that verify maximum speed, acceleration capacity, and the braking ability of trains. These tests also include the evaluation of systems such as: interior lighting, the opening and closing of doors, voice communication and information screens throughout each carriage. At present tests are being carried out manually. In December automatic testing will begin, directed from the Operations Control Center of Panama Metro Line One, located in the Yards and Workshops zone in Albrook.
The “Metropolis” trains, manufactured in Santa Perpetua, Spain, are each comprised of 3 cars with a maximum capacity of 600 people – 200 per car . Each car has a length of 52 meters with a height of 3.85 meters. For the convenience of passengers each car is equipped with wide doors, level floors, corridors between carriages, information screens and natural lighting to enhance the safety of passengers. Trains have a locomotive at each end – with the cars in the center – enabling travel in either direction.
FCC in Panama
Important FCC projects currently underway in Panama include the $1.8 billion dollar construction of Line 1 of the Panama Metro, the first subway in Central America and the $576m New Caja Seguro Hospital Complex in Panama City. FCC are also building a new access channel from the Pacific to the Panama Canal in a contract worth $271m. This week President Ricardo Martinelli inaugurated the new $30 million headquarters of Panama’s “Tribunal Electoral” – Panama’s autonomous Electoral Court, built by FCC. This is the first completed building in the proposed Panama Government City Master Plan.
FCC in Latin America
In Brazil, FCC is building the largest port in South America, the $540m Açu Superport, while also carrying out one of Mexico’s largest infrastructure projects – the El Realito Dam PPP, for $200m. In 2013 FCC won over $250m worth of contract in Peru, through the upgrade of the Trujillo Sports Complex, and the modernisation of the Callao Port – one of South America’s biggest pacific ports.
FCC’s activity in the region has been recognized on several occasions. Most recently, FCC Chairwoman Esther Alcocer Koplowitz received the Business Growth Award from the Latin American Business Council (CEAL) on behalf of FCC. The jury particularly praised FCC’s work carried out on the American continent over more than three decades.
Sarah Walker – Account Executive – VOX in the City – 20 Broadwick Street, London, W1F 8HT
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