Panama Canal Expansion Suspended Over Dispute

Panama CanalWork 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.