Projects and energy in Panama

Galindo, Arias & López

The 'methodical' and 'dynamic' team at Galindo, Arias & López has significant expertise in the financing of energy and infrastructure projects, as well as in public bids for major developments, and also assists with a wide range of regulatory, commercial and corporate matters in the energy sector. It also has a niche specialism in the storage and transportation of petroleum fuels and liquified petroleum gas. The team's impressive client roster includes financial institutions, venture capital investors, and major construction and energy companies. At the head of the projects team, Salomón Behar focuses on public bids and project finance, while Cristina Lewis de la Guardia leads the firm's regulatory department and is particularly experienced in the development of renewable energy projects, and the 'excellent' Cristina Thayer specialises in government contracts and public procurement. Another key contact in the sizeable team is Diego Herrera, who has extensive experience in project finance and M&A in the energy sector.

Practice head(s):

Cristina Lewis; Salomón Behar; Cristina Thayer

Testimonials

‘The firm is very organised and works to a high standard. They have always been our go-to firm – their advice has given us excellent results and we do nothing without consulting them. The level of professionalism is very high and that gives us confidence.’

‘They are very professional and methodical. They analyse all the points before offering an answer and study the issue in depth to make sure that their opinion is the best.’

‘What makes this practice unique is their ability to solve the client’s problems under the most difficult of circumstances. Clients know that they can trust the team with both simple and sophisticated matters and they will be treated with the same care. The Gala team work responds well, on time and in a concise manner.’

‘The lawyers at Gala know the client’s matters well and are aware of the client’s needs. They are dynamic and go the extra mile to ensure that the client achieves its objectives. They respond quickly to the client’s concerns and provide clear and viable solutions to the problems that arise. Cristina Thayer is an excellent attorney. She provides clear, effective, to-the-point responses that the client needs to hear and helps to solve impossible problems. I highly recommend the firm.’

‘The team are very professional and expert in their area of work. Their advice is delivered on time and with detailed research, which is very important.’

‘Cristina Thayer is very kind and supportive, always prompt in responding, very well prepared for her work, and brilliant in her findings. Her best quality is that she understands and adapts to new situations and handles them like an expert.’

‘They try to anticipate problems, inform us of all the changes made by the government and are prompt in answering our requests.’

‘We are very satisfied with Cristina Thayer’s work.’

Key clients

Servair

Goldwind International Holdings

Panama Canal Expansion Project

Systra

Edemet & Edechi

Petroterminal de Panama (PTP)

UEP Penonomé I

Kalpataru Power Transmission

Work highlights

  • Represented Systra in the public bid process undertaken by Metro de Panamá for the project management services coordination and technical assistance for the extension of Line 1 of the Panama metro system to Villa Zaíta.
  • Representing Kalpataru Power Transmission in a claim relating to its public bid for the construction of the 230kV Sabanitas – Panama III transmission line and associated substations of Empresa de Transmisión Eléctrica.
  • Advised Goldwind International Holdings and Goldwind International Penonome on the sale to AES Panama of their equity interests in UEP Penonomé I, the operator of a 55MW wind farm on Panama’s southern coast.

Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee

The financing and construction of transport infrastructure projects is a key area of expertise for the ‘always available‘ team at Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee, which also advises on public tenders and concession contracts. The team is currently advising Grupo Unidos por el Canal, the consortium responsible for the expansion of the Panama Canal, and has also advised operators and construction companies on major ports and highways projects. In the energy sector, the team is particularly active in advising major players in the electricity sub-sector and the energy generation and renewables space, assisting with the development of solar energy projects as well as corporate transactions. Eloy Alfaro, who acts for a number of developers of large-scale infrastructure projects, leads the team with Alejandro Ferrer. Jaime Castillo, who specialises in the energy sector, and Raúl Borrell, who has expertise in project finance, public tenders and concession contracts, are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Eloy Alfaro; Alejandro Ferrer

Testimonials

‘A great firm with good talent.’

‘Always available and have a personal touch in client relationships.’

Key clients

Empresas Públicas de Medellín, Elektra Noreste, ENSA Servicios, and Hidroecológica del Teribe (Grupo EPM)

Celsia E.S.P., Celsia Centroamérica, Alternegy, Bontex and Bahía Las Minas (Grupo Celsia)

Petroterminal (PATSA) and Sociedad Latinoamericana de Inversiones (SLI) (Grupo Liberman)

Petróleos Delta

Gas Natural Atlántico, Gas Natural Atlántico II & Costa Norte LNG Terminal, AES Panamá (Grupo AES)

Grupo Unidos por el Canal

Cable & Wireless Panamá, Sonitel (Grupo Liberty)

London & Regional

Grupo Puentes

Ideal Panamá, CILSA Panamá (Grupo CARSO)

Work highlights

  • Advising Puentes y Calzadas Infraestructuras, Sucursal Panamá, and Constructora Pirenaica, Sucursal Panamá, on various issues relating to construction projects.
  • Advising ASM (formerly SMG), a worldwide leader in venue management, on the negotiation of an agreement and all local labour, tax and commercial matters with the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP) for the management of a new trade and convention centre in Panama City that is currently under construction.
  • Assisting Cable & Wireless Panamá, the largest telecoms operator in Panama, with ongoing projects matters.

Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega

Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega has a wide range of experience in projects and energy matters, advising on government contracts and concessions for ports, telecoms and energy projects, as well as the financing of major infrastructure projects. The team also has considerable strength in the mining, oil and gas sectors, and in corporate transactions and regulatory matters in the energy sector. The team is led by Estif Aparicio, who has expertise in the financing of major public infrastructure projects; Ricardo Arango, who specialises in financial and capital markets transactions; Rosa Restrepo, the head of the government contracts practice; and regulatory practice head Sofía Cohen.

Practice head(s):

Ricardo Arango; Estif Aparicio; Rosa Restrepo; Sofía Cohen

Morgan & Morgan

Morgan & Morgan counts government entities, major domestic and international financial institutions, multilateral development agencies and investment banks among its clients, and has extensive experience in advising on the financing and construction of large-scale infrastructure projects, including transportation, mining and renewable energy developments. In addition, the firm advises on public tenders and government concession contracts. Practice head Ramón Varela specialises in advising on the financing and development of energy projects, including renewable projects, in addition to handling M&A and regulatory issues in the energy sector. Other key contacts include Inocencio Galindo and Kharla Aizpurúa, who have considerable expertise in project finance, Aristides Anguizola, who is particularly experienced in mine development and finance, and senior associate Ana Carolina Castillo, who specialises in financial and corporate transactions and regulatory matters in the energy sector.

Practice head(s):

Ramón Varela

Testimonials

‘Good knowledge of issues in the country and good coordination with the client.’

Key clients

BHP

IDB Invest

Seven Seas Water Corporation

PNE Wind

Ministry of Public Works of Panama

Hitachi

Mitsubishi Corporation

Elecnor

Minera Panama

First Quantum Minerals

Metro de Panama

First Transit de Panama

Panama Ports (subsidiary of Hutchinson Ports Holdings)

The AES Corporation

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Corporación Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura (CIFI)

Work highlights

  • Advising the International Finance Corporation on several issues arising from the $300m financing of the second phase of the Penonomé wind power project.
  • Advising Minera Panamá on several matters arising from its $6.7bn cooper-mine project.
  • Advised Seven Seas Water on its acquisition of the indirect holder of the concession to operate the Laguna Alta Water Treatment Plant.

Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez

Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez has been active in the financing and construction of major port, oil terminal, public infrastructure and energy projects in Panama. In addition, the team assists with tax, regulatory, real estate and corporate matters arising from large-scale developments. At the helm of the practice, Annette Bárcenas specialises in public procurement in the energy and telecoms sectors, advising clients on public bids and the negotiation of government contracts, and also has expertise in project finance, regulatory and administrative matters. Among the other notable members of the team, Juan Antonio Alfaro is experienced in the development of oil terminal, port and logistics, and real estate projects, and senior associate Luis Horacio Moreno focuses on public procurement and government contracts.

Practice head(s):

Annette Bárcenas

Key clients

Petroamerica Terminal (PATSA), a VTTI Group company

PSA International Terminal

Colon Logistic Park

Naturgy

China State Construction Engineering Corporation

PNE

Astican & Astander

Consorcio Linea Panama Norte (consortium formed by the Panama branches of Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construcao and Obrascón Huarte Lain)

China Electric Power Equipment & Technology (a subsidiary of State Grid Corporation of China)

Otis Elevator Company

Vopak

Polaris Infrastructure

Work highlights

  • Advising Colon Logistic Park on the development, construction and operation of a logistics park located inside the Colon Container Terminal, located at the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal.
  • Advising PNE on the development of the Santa Cruz wind farm project in the Coclé region.
  • Advising Consorcio Linea Panama Norte (a consortium formed by the Panamanian branches of Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construcao and Obrascón Huarte Lain) on the extension of Line 1 of the Panama Metro.

Fabrega Molino

Fabrega Molino's practice spans project finance, licensing and government concessions for major developments, and compliance and regulatory issues relating to projects. Its diverse client base includes gas, oil and mineral producers, construction and energy companies, government entities, financial institutions and multilateral development agencies. The team is led by Ana Lorena Morales, who focuses on government contracts and permits and administrative and regulatory issues relating to telecoms, energy, infrastructure and public transport projects, and banking and securities head Tatiana Abadía, who has extensive experience in real estate and project finance (including in the energy sector).

Practice head(s):

Ana Lorena Morales; Tatiana Abadía