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Panama Canal upgrade at risk in deadlock over extra costs

Published on Feb 5, 2014 7:23 PM

MADRID (AFP) - Negotiations over who should pay for extra costs for upgrading the Panama Canal have collapsed, putting the project and up to 10,000 jobs at risk, Spanish group Sacyr said on Wednesday.

Completion could be delayed by three to five years if no agreement is reached, a consortium led by Sacyr has warned, citing an estimate by insurance group Zurich.

The threat to the widening of the vital maritime link comes on the 100th anniversary of the opening of the canal, considered an extraordinary achievement of engineering.

The project to widen the canal, one of the biggest civil engineering operations in the world, is due to be completed next year but is bedevilled by a dispute over huge cost overruns.

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