The Panama Canal expansion project is now expected to be finished “mid of 2016” says a report in Reuters quoting the waterway's administrator.
"The new set of larger locks for the Panama Canal will be complete by the end of June, after more than a year-long delay and after builders repaired cracks that had formed in the concrete walls," says Jorge Quijano
, who leads the Panama Canal Authority
The consortium building a third, bigger set of locks on one of the world's busiest maritime routes, headed by Italy's Salini Impregilo and Spain's Sacyr , is now in testing, the final step before the project's inauguration.
Panama should start to benefit from the expansion in 2017, when the government foresees getting an extra US$1.4 billion in revenue, a jump of 30 percent compared with this fiscal year.
The project was initially set to be finished at the end of 2014, but the date was pushed back to April of this year due to a dispute between the administrator and the building consortium over costs.
The plan was originally set at US$5.25 billion, but the builders successfully argued for an extra US$3.2 billion, of which the government has paid US$250 million so far.