Work resumes on Panama Canal


The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has reached an agreement with the Spanish-led consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal to restart construction on the waterway’s expansion, after a row over spiralling costs led to a two-week halt in operations.

GUPC agreed to restart work on Wednesday after ACP agreed to pay the Spanish builder Sacyr, which leads the consortium, US$36.8 million to cover work completed in December. The two sides also gave themselves a self-imposed deadline of 72 hours to reach agreement on other divisive issues, including delivery of the gates for the locks, a schedule for the remainder of the works and a timetable of repayment moratorium.

The Chicago office of Mayer Brown LLP and Panamanian firm Galindo, Arias & López are counsel to the ACP, while GUPC relies on White & Case LLP’s Washington, DC, New York and Miami offices and Panama’s Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee. The law firms declined to comment.