Panama Canal Operators To Meet Consortium In Bid To End Cost Dispute

Stopping work on the $5.25 billion project to widen and deepen the canal would be a setback for companies eager to push liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from the U.S. Gulf coast to Asian markets through the century-old waterway. There was no immediate word from building consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) on Quijano's proposal, but mediating Spanish public works minister Ana Pastor was optimistic. "There is good will on the part of the canal and I think also on the part of the consortium. Now it depends on them, the parties, to reach agreements," Pastor told a news conference on Monday after holding separate talks with the parties. Sacyr's consortium, which also original site includes Italy's Salini Impregilo (SALI.MI), Belgium's Jan De Nul and Panama's Constructora Urbana, said last week it had faced $1.6 billion in added costs due to unforeseen setbacks in the $3.2 billion project to build a third set of locks for the canal. It said geological studies carried out by the Panama Canal Authority were flawed.
More: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/01/07/uk-sacyr-panama-idUKBREA0606E20140107

Panama Canal Authority Proposes Splitting Costs To End Dispute

Gulf coast to Asian markets. BLAME GAME In 2007, work began on the expansion, which will create a new lane of traffic along the canal and double its capacity. The overall project is 72 percent complete. Last week, the consortium, which also includes Belgium's Jan De Nul and Panama's Constructora Urbana, said it had faced the added costs due to unforeseen setbacks in the $3.2 billion section of the project to build the new locks. The group said flawed geological studies carried out by the authority were responsible for the cost overruns. The authority has not yet responded. U.S.
More: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/08/us-sacyr-panama-idUSBREA0714S20140108

Panama Canal refuses to pay $1 billion more for expansion work

They are completely outside the contract and that's not going to happen," said ACP administrator Jorge Quijano. He made his remarks during an appearance at Panama's National Assembly, where he was consulted more... on several proposals by Impregilo, a member of the Spanish-led GUPC consortium working on the $5.25 billion expansion, made public on Wednesday in Rome and another presented on Tuesday in Panama by the international consortium. In the statement released in Rome, Impregilo CEO Pietro Salini proposed that the ACP pay the consortium an additional $1 billion to finish up the project. The administrator told lawmakers that the proposal presented on Tuesday in Panama by the GUPC also was Panama unsuitable since it asks the ACP to advance $400 million, as the TVN television network reported on its Web page. "The proposal by the GUPC is impossible ...
More: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2014/01/08/panama-canal-not-possible-to-meet-consortium-latest-payment-demands/

Panama Asks Spain To Help Resolve Canal Expansion Dispute

The work began in 2009 and was supposed to conclude this year, but it is nine months behind schedule and is now expected to be finished in June 2015. But GUPC says it ran into unforeseen costs because the canal authority gave the builders the wrong information regarding the area's geology. The canal authority has countered that the contractor's claims "lack any foundation" and that GUPC must make its complaint in the legal bodies outlined in the contract. The extra funds proposed by canal officials would be used to pay contractors and subcontractors. Under the offer, GUPC would be required to deliver next month four canal lock-doors that were supposed to arrive last November and have already been paid for.
More: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/international/panama-offers-us-283m/946468.html

Panama Canal: Not possible to meet consortium's latest payment demands

20. The http://www.migente.com/your_page/blog/view_posting.html?pid=4570400&profile_id=8198384&profile_name=leopoldozzds&user_id=8198384&username=leopoldozzds consortium, which says it has run out of cash to fund construction, said in a statement that the Panama Canal Authority should put in $400 million in order to keep searching for a long-term solution. The canal's authority rejected that offer. "We reiterate our openness and willingness to come up with an amount based on the terms of the contract and considering what was discussed today (Tuesday)," the Panama Canal Authority said in a statement. The consortium is comprised of Spain's Sacyr Vallehermoso, Impregilo of Italy, Jan De Nul of Belgium and Constructora Urbana SA of Panama. It says unexpected problems with the quality of material supposed to be used to make cement spawned massive overruns, and blamed the canal authority for carrying out insufficient geological studies before work began. Tuesday's meeting was the first between the authority and the consortium.
More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/08/panama-canal-dispute_n_4563784.html

Panama offers US$283m fund to end canal spat

The consortium, which says it has run out of cash to fund construction, said in a statement that the Panama Canal Authority should put in $400 million in order to keep searching for a long-term solution. The canal's authority rejected that offer. "We reiterate our openness and willingness to come up with an amount based on the terms of the contract and considering what was discussed today (Tuesday)," the Panama Canal Authority said in a statement. The consortium is comprised of Spain's Sacyr Vallehermoso , Impregilo of Italy, Jan De Nul of Belgium and Constructora Urbana SA of Panama. It says unexpected problems with the quality of material supposed to be used to make cement spawned massive overruns, and blamed the canal authority for carrying out insufficient geological studies before work began. Tuesday's meeting was the first between the authority and the consortium. The authority met Monday with Spain's public works minister, who said the consortium wanted to resolve the dispute within the terms of its contract with the canal administrator.
More: http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Panama-Canal-authority-proposes-end-to-dispute-5121831.php

Panama Canal authority proposes end to dispute

Alejandro Bolivar/EPA/Landov Panama's president on Monday expressed confidence that a multi-billion dollar Panama Canal expansion will get back on track after a European-led consortium threatened to halt construction unless it gets paid for massive cost overruns. As we reported last week , Spanish builder Sacyr, the leader of a consortium known as Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), which includes Impreglio of Italy, Belgian firm Jan De Nul and Constructora Urbana of Panama, said the Panama Canal Authority , which runs the waterway, has until January 20 to come "in line with the contractual terms" or it will walk away from the project. The firm says there have been $1.6 billion in cost overruns in the project to construct a third set of locks that can, for the first time, handle the largest "post-Panamax" ships. The original bid was for $3.2 billion. Construction began in 2009 and is supposed to be completed in June 2015. On Monday, Panama's President Ricardo Martinelli met with Spain's Public Works Minister Ana Pastor in Panama City. Pastor said that even though the dispute was between individual companies, "we are here to help them reach agreement." Martinelli said he was "confident that these meetings will resolve disagreements." The Panama Canal Authority insists that the work must go ahead dispute cost overruns, saying such added expenses are "normal" in such a large construction project.
More: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/01/06/260291300/panama-asks-spain-to-help-resolve-canal-expansion-dispute

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