Wednesday, July 30th30.4°C
21450
21739

Panama Canal chief reports agreements in principle to solve some parts of expansion dispute

PANAMA CITY - Panama Canal Administrator Jorge Quijano said Wednesday the agency has reached tentative agreement with contractors on some of the issues that have stalled work on the biggest expansion of the waterway in a century.

But Quijano also told a meeting of Panama's Chamber of Commerce and Industry that the Panama Canal Authority might take over the project if no final agreement is reached this week.

The canal chief said he spoke by telephone Tuesday with executives from Grupos Unidos por el Canal, the consortium led by Spain's Sacyr SA and Italy's Salini Impreglio SpA. It has been seeking to have the canal authority pay for $1.6 billion in cost overruns on what had been planned as a $3.1 billion chunk of the canal project.

"We had agreements in principle on several of the topics," he said, without giving details. "We still have some topics to resolve and we are working in that direction."

"That is not to say that we have abandoned the other alternative, which is that we take over the work ourselves," said Quijano. "We are preparing more each day in case that is necessary."

Sacyr declined Wednesday to comment on the report of agreements in principle.

Quijano said that one question to be resolved is if insurer Zurich American, which holds a guarantee bond of at least $450 million, will play a role in financing renewed work.

"Zurich has not yet expressed itself in a conclusive way. We know that they have the willingness to do so," he said.

The dispute threatens to delay a project that has led ports and shipping companies around the globe to make costly new investments to take advantage of the ability to move larger ships through a waterway that already handles 5 to 6 per cent of world commerce.

The canal authority and the construction consortium blame each other for the overruns. They were negotiating how to pay for the unplanned extra costs when talks broke down.

Other foreign contractors and project managers have expressed an interest in completing the 30 per cent of work that remains on the third canal lock, according to canal officials.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

22767


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15494.04+47.49
S&P CDNX1011.38-5.12
DJIA16867.99-44.12
Nasdaq4456.997+14.299
S&P 5001968.48-1.47
CDN Dollar0.9174-0.0042
Gold1310.00+6.70
Oil100.15-0.82
Lumber324.40+2.40
Natural Gas3.73-0.017

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.175-0.01
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.200.00
Cantex0.085+0.02
Anavex Life Sciences0.251-0.0165
Metalex Ventures0.085+0.005
Russel Metals35.07-0.22
Copper Mountain Mining2.82-0.04
Colorado Resources0.22-0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.10+0.019
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.035+0.015
Mission Ready Services0.15-0.005

 



22704

FEATURED Property
1983506#10-5371Princeton Avenue
3 bedrooms 1 baths
$58,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Take charge of your debt

Photo: Thinkstock.comWays to reduce your Debt:Make a budget and get budget counselingA basic first step for debt reduction is to prepare a budget and plan your spending. Once you have a budget, you mu...


Geopolitical tensions rattle markets

The Big Picture Geopolitical tensions rattle markets The spectre of rising geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and Gaza cast a shadow over an otherwise positive week in the markets. News that a passenger...


Learn to delegate effectively

Photo: ContributedI have the pleasure of witnessing people delegate tasks quite often. Sometimes with tremendous success and sometimes with disastrous consequences. I have chaired a lot of committees...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22707