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Panama names firms that can bid on subway project

PANAMA CITY, March 17 (Reuters) - Spain’s Acciona, Brazil’s Construtora Norberto Odebrecht, and Italy’s Impregilo lead three consortia that will be allowed to bid on a $1.5 billion contract to build a Panamanian subway, Panama’s government said.

Bids to build a nine-mile (14 km) subway through Panama City will be due by March 31, the government said in a statement on Wednesday.

The exact target price for the contract has not been announced, but the finance ministry estimated the cost at $1.5 billion in February.

A winner could be announced in July and construction could begin before the end of this year, the government said.

Acciona ANA.MC subsidiary Acciona Infraestructuras leads the Cima consortium, which includes Japan's Mitsubishi Corporation 8058.T and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, as well as Mexico's Constructoras ICA ICA.MX and Spain's CAF CAF.MC.

Construtora Norberto Odebrecht leads the Linea Uno consortium, which includes Spain's FCC FCC.MC.

Impregilo's IPGI.MI all-Italian consortium, Grupo Italiano Metro Panama, includes Astaldi AST.MI and Ghella. (Reporting by Sean Mattson, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)