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International law firm Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP has been appointed to act as procurement counsel to the Panama Canal Authority with respect to the construction and associated works contracts related to the planned Panama Canal Expansion Program.

The Expansion Program will expand the Panama Canal through the construction of a third set of locks and associated works in order to double the Canal's capacity. The estimated project cost is US$5.25 billion and the expansion is anticipated to be completed by2014.

Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw was selected from a group of top-tier global law firms.

The decision to expand the Canal follows a vote taken by Panamanians on October 22, 2006 in recognition of the need to enhance capacity of the Panama Canal, given its critical position in the global trade supply chain. The project highlights Panama's strategic location and Panama's intention to become the logistics and transportation hub for the Americas.  The move will double the Canal's capacity, ensuring tightening of the global supply chain and goods getting to market faster, saving both time and money for producers and consumers alike.

Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw is using an interdisciplinary team including members of the firm's Global Project Finance & Development Group (Barry Machlin) and the International Construction & Engineering Group (Michael Regan and Nick Henchie).

"We are very honored to be able to support the efforts of the Panama Canal Authority in this historic project." commented Barry Machlin, co-head of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw's Global Project Finance & Development Group. Michael Regan, Head of the firm's Construction & Engineering Group in London, added "This is a project of enormous prestige, and we are proud to be included as part of the team."