Last Friday afternoon, state Panama Canal Authority (ACP for its Spanish acronym), gave the consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) led by Sacyr Vallehermoso, a new counter-shared funding to resume “as swiftly as possible” the works to be undertaken to expand the waterway, stalled since February 5.
The ACP said the proposal does not increase the contract price (of $ 3,118 million, 2.286 million euros) nor the acceptance of some, which, if it occurs, must follow the contract process. It also states that both parties will provide financial resources to restart the works as soon as possible, but no dates or details of procedures are offered.
The disadvantages took place after the construction group announced on January 1 that if they did not receive an additional $ 1,600 million for unforeseen expenditure overruns, they would suspend the works to build the locks enlargement on January 20. The ACP rejected the claim and demanded resolving it under the terms of the contract that both parties signed in 2009 for $ 3,118 million.
Although the deadline of January 20 was fulfilled without any agreement, ACP and GUPC agreed to continue negotiating with a limit of January 31, which was then extended until February 4. Bilateral talks ended on last Tuesday night without agreement, and the next day, the Group carried out its threat and suspended the construction of the locks.