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Delay expected in Panama Canal expansion as dispute over additional costs drags on

Published on Feb 8, 2014 10:50 PM

PANAMA CITY (AFP) - Work on expanding the Panama Canal is unlikely to resume on Saturday as local officials face negotiations with foreign builders after the project was halted in a dispute over cost overruns.

The multi-billion-dollar plan to build larger locks on the 80-kilometre waterway linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans stopped on Friday in a row over who will pay an additional US$1.6 billion (S$2.03 billion) bill.

The independent Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and GUPC consortium - a group of international builders headed by Spain's Sacry Vallehermoso - exchanged proposals throughout the day, but without a deal.

"We keep open the possibility of reaching an agreement, and we are making an effort towards that goal," said ACP chief Jorge Quijano.

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