The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said that Grupo Unidos por el Canal. S.A. (GUPC) has resumed work on the new locks project during the afternoon of Thursday, February 20.
“Works have restarted this afternoon,” said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano. “The consortium has guaranteed that it will continue working, which was our main objective so we can move forward and discuss other issues for a longer-term agreement.”
Since works have resumed, ACP will proceed to pay tomorrow GUPC the $36.8 million due for December invoices.
This preliminary agreement to resume works does not imply a negotiation on the alleged cost overruns claimed by the contractor. ACP reiterates that these claims must be process through the mechanisms within the contract.
The consortium is formed by Sacyr Vallehermoso, S.A (Spain), Impregilo, S.p.A. (Italy), Jan de Nul Group (Belgium) and Constructora Urbana, S.A. (CUSA) (Panama).
The parties will continue to negotiations during the next couple of days to come to an agreement that ensures the successful completion of the project.