Work to resume on Panama Canal expansion

Project to enlarge Panama Canal to allow passage for big oil tankers and container ships resumes despite ongoing dispute over US$1.6 million cost overrun

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 February, 2014, 12:30pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 February, 2014, 12:30pm

The administrator of the Panama Canal says work will resume on Thursday on a major expansion of the canal two weeks after it was halted over a disagreement with a contractor on US$1.6 billion in cost overruns.

It says the European-led construction consortium will go back to work even though they haven’t reached a final agreement on how to finance the remaining work on a set of new locks

The dispute that began in January threatens to further delay completion of the US$5.25 billion expansion project that will allow extra-large tankers and container ships to use the canal and cut travel time between Asia and the eastern US.

The consortium led by Spain’s Sacyr blames poor planning for the cost overruns. Panama says the company is responsible for any unforeseen costs.