Odebrecht processed more than BRL 100 million per airport in Panama

Tocumen Airport – Image: Copa Airlines


The administrator of one of the most important and strategic airports in Central America, Tucumen, in Panama City, decided to bring to justice the largest company in the area of ​​engineering and construction industry in Latin America, the Brazilian company Odebrecht, involved in corruption schemes uncovered by the Federal Police’s Lava Jato Operation.

According to information from Agence France-Presse (AFP), Tucumen SA is in court and wants a value of US$ 20 million (approximately R$ 104 million)on account of a breach of contract in the works to expand the airport terminal, not having been delivered within the period established in the contract, as stated by the general manager of Tucumen, Raffoul Arab:

CNO (Construtora Norberto Odebrecht SA) failed to fulfill its contractual obligations, by not delivering the project within the agreed deadline (agreed deadline: September 2021 – work delivered: June 2022), which consequently means that this company (airport), 100% owned by the Panamanian State, had to incur extraordinary expenses attributable to the contractor“.

It is worth noting that already in 2021, just before the end of the works, the administrator had announced the termination of the contract with the Brazilian company for non-compliance with the contract, a measure that was rejected by Odebrecht because there was no ‘legal basis’.

Works starting in 2012 and expected completion in 2021

The Brazilian contractor started construction work on the new airport terminal in 2012 after being the winner of a tender opened by the Government of Panama.

The works for the implementation of the new terminal, which would have 116 thousand square meters, were contracted for the amount of US$ 679 million, around R$ 3.5 billion. But, due to the delay, the final amount discounted to the Panamanian State’s pocket was US$ 917 million, approximately R$ 4.7 billion. Since the terminal was handed over, it has housed most of the operations of the country’s main airline, Copa Airlines.

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