Odebrecht affirms that "it has not breached" contract with the Tocumen Airport
Odebrecht said in a statement that the contract for the execution of the Tocumen Airport Expansion Program "remains legally in effect."
Constructora Norberto Odebrecht (CNO) SA said that it "has not breached" the contract for the expansion of the main Tocumen airport, whose administration terminated the agreement alluding to that cause, which in turn disabled the construction company in Panama.
The Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen SA AITSA reported Tuesday that "has terminated the contract to the company CNO, SA for breach of obligations agreed in the Contract No. 038/12 for the implementation of the Program of Expansion of the Tocumen International Airport ", a project with a global cost of more than 900 million dollars.
The CNO said in a statement that the contract for the execution of the Tocumen International Airport Expansion Program "is still legally in force," it highlighted that the project "has a constructive progress of 99.9%", and that the "substantial delivery" of the work "was completed in February 2020."
"The Terminal is operating. The resolution issued [by AITSA on Tuesday] by which it intends to terminate the contract, lacks legal basis and factual basis."
The Brazilian construction company "considers that it has not breached the contract and remains on the site of the work to complete the few and last pending points that, if at the moment they have not been concluded, it is for reasons not attributable to CNO," the company said. in your statement.
"AITSA maintains a delay in payments due to CNO, directly impacting the execution of the work," the company said without specifying any figures.
Odebrecht affirmed that "it will enforce in due time and form before the corresponding authorities its rights in relation to the AITSA resolution", although it expressed that it "wishes and hopes that the constructive dialogue in search of solutions be resumed."
"CNO understands that the best thing for the project in terms of shorter term and cost for the State is that CNO is allowed to continue executing the few pending pending work," he added.
The termination of the contract by the Tocumen airport resulted in its inability to participate "in tenders and to contract with the Panamanian State," AITSA said, citing Law 22 of 2006, which regulates public procurement.
The Tocumen administration indicated that it has already officially notified "ASSA Compañía de Seguros, SA about the breach of the clauses agreed with the contractor to guarantee the completion of the work through the execution of the compliance bond and protect the best interests of the State" .
"In the last Addendum, CNO, SA undertakes to deliver to TOCUMEN the work completely completed as of September 30, 2021. However, as of September 27, 640 pending items of Adjustments and Supplements, in addition to other activities, were still registered. not executed that correspond to the Original Scope of Contract No. 038/12 ", argued Tocumen.
The new Terminal 2 (T2) of the Tocumen Airport, a 116,000 square meter building that expands the airport's passenger admittance capacity from 12 to 25 million per year, began construction in 2013 and was due to be ready by the end of 2017, but its delivery has been postponed with the signing of addenda agreed by the contractor and the State.
Odebrecht was awarded the work in a 2012 tender in which it offered the lowest price, 679 million dollars, but the work has already exceeded 900 million dollars, according to official information.
Odebrecht starred in the largest corruption scandal on the continent, admitting to US authorities that it paid millions in bribes in a dozen countries, almost all in Latin America, and was fined $ 2.6 billion.
In Panama, the company and the Prosecutor's Office signed an agreement in July 2017 whereby the company undertook to pay a fine of $ 220 million to the State within 12 years.
In 2021, the Prosecutor's Office asked to call 50 people to trial for the Odebrecht case, including former presidents Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) and Juan Carlos Varela (2014-2019).