Work on expanding the Panama Canal is unlikely to resume, as local officials face negotiations with foreign builders after the project was suspended in a dispute over cost overruns.
Dispute over costs
Grupo Unidos Por El Canal (GUPC), led by the Spanish builder Sacyr, said it wanted to delay making a payment until the end of the dispute to free up money to finish the project.
The construction group claims a dispute over $1.6 billion cost overruns has shut down the project.
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP), on the other hand, said the demand amounted to blackmail.
Delaying the project
Last week, the Spanish-led consortium denied that work at construction had been stopped. But in a statement issued on February 8, the group blamed the Canal Authority for failing to extend a negotiation protocol.
“While awaiting (for) an agreement to enable the finalization of construction, work has been suspended on the project,” GUPC said in a statement.