Panama Canal: Construction Standoff Resolved

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SpanishAfter a two-month standoff, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced last night that it had reached a “conceptual agreement” with Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), the consortium building the third set of locks in the channel. Jorge Luis Quijano, the canal administrator, said the agreement “protects the interests of the Panama Canal within the terms of the contract.”

Under the agreement, the 12 remaining gates will be delivered in December this year, and both parties must contribute US$100 million to complete the work. However, Quijano said the agreement is still subject to “documentation, review and final signature.” Regarding outstanding payments to GUPC, the ACP “may lengthen” the extension until 2018 “subject to meeting certain milestones and other conditions.”

For its part, the performance bond of $400 million can only be released by the Zurich insurance company in order to obtain financing for completing the work. The agreement sets December 2015 as the completion date of the largest expansion project of the Panama Canal.

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Source: La Prensa.

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