Spanish version

ACP thinks Canal claims will last until 2022

The claims total $5.7 billion.

Spanish version

Temas:

The Panama Canal expansion was years behind schedule. The Panama Canal expansion was years behind schedule.
The Panama Canal expansion was years behind schedule.

The main consortium that carried out the works to expand the Panama Canal has claims for more than $5.8 billion, which is higher than the overall cost of the work, said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge Quijano. 

He explained that, a year after the works were completed, "5.8 billion in claims remain to be resolved." They were filed by Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), the consortium in charge of the project. 

"This is a long-term process and we do not think it will be resolved before 2021 or 2022," Quijano added during a meeting with journalists. 

GUPC, made up of Spain's Sacyr, Italy's Salini Impregilio, Belgian firm Jan De Nul and Panamanian firm CUSA, was the main contractor for the project. 

GUPC was in charge of the design and construction of the new locks. 

The works were inaugurated on June 26, 2016, almost two years later than planned and after a host of disputes between GUPC and the Panama Canal Authority (ACP). 

The ACP accused the consortium of not using the cement required in the contract and GUPC temporarily stopped work due to lack of cash flow and claims for cost overruns. 

The appearance of fissures through which water filtered into one of the new locks also caused delays. 

GUPC made claims in excess of $6 billion, of which $200 million have been granted. The remainder remains unresolved. 

"The only contractor with which there is still something pending is with GUPC, all other contracts have been solved," Quijano said. 

"There are very few claims we have lost," he added. 

The ACP has had to spend $48.8 million in legal costs so far.

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