The Gamboa Drinking Water Treatment Plant is one of the largest water treatment infrastructures to be built by the National Government of the Republic of Panama, through the National Institute of Aqueducts and Sewage Systems (IDAAN). The facility seeks to comply with the “100% Drinking Water – Zero Latrines” plan promoted by President Juan Carlos Varela. From the seven large consortiums submitting tenders for the project, the IDAAN finally opted for the bid submitted by Consorcio Agua para Gamboa, made up of TEDAGUA and Panamanian construction company Constructores Civiles Generales (COCIGE), each with a 50% share in the consortium.
The Comptroller General of the Republic of Panama has endorsed the contract entered into by the IDAAN and the consortium for the Study, Design, Construction, Operation and Maintenance of the Gamboa Drinking Water Treatment Plant. The new facility will be named after José “Pepe” Fierro, in honour of the three-times Executive Director of the IDAAN. With a contract budget of $239 million (around €220 million), the project is scheduled for completion within a period of 765 days, which includes a study and design stage. A three-year plant operating period will begin from when the facility is delivered to the IDAAN. During this period, IDAAN staff will receive training in the operation and maintenance of the facility.
The work to be carried out includes an intake structure located in the Chagrés River just before it flows into the Gatún lake. The lake serves as a natural waterway for the passage of ships crossing the Panama Canal. A pumping station will be built at the intake to lift the water to the DWTP, through an 11-kilometre pipeline composed of ductile iron pipes with a diameter of 1,800 mm (72”). The plant will have a guaranteed production capacity of 246,000 m3/day (65 MGD), with an option to increase the output to 322,000 m3/day (85 MGD). The facility will be connected to the City of Panama’s existing water supply ring by means of a 19-km pipeline with the same characteristics as those of the intake pipeline.
The new project will reinforce the systems of the Western II line of the water supply ring, thereby ensuring the supply of water, 24 hours per day, to a population of over 235,000 Panamanians residing in the urban districts of Ancón, San Felipe, San Francisco, El Chorrillo, Santa Ana, Calidonia, Curundú, Bethania, Bella Vista and part of the Ricardo J. Alfaro Road, all of which are located in the City of Panama.