The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

The first of several claims related to the Panama Canal’s $1.6 billion in cost overruns will begin arbitration in Miami next week. The first dispute to be heard by the arbitration court will be a $180 million claim over the cost of draining an area to create work space near the Pacific locks of the 50-mile (80-km) long canal. The project’s contract states that if a disagreement between two parties arises during any part of the project, the two sides must first analyze the other side’s claim and then head to an adjudication board. In the event that these two measures cannot bring an agreed upon solution, the dispute would then head to arbitration. 

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  • Date occured Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Negotiations relating to a financial dispute on the Panama Canal Expansion project between the European building consortium GUPC, or Group United for the Canal, and the Panama Canal Authority, a government agency, broke down on Tuesday.  While it is unclear if work has completely stopped on the project, it is confirmed that the GUPC has reduced their work by at least 75 percent from when the consortium was working at full capacity.  Any delays to the expansion project will have far reaching economic impacts, particularly for ports on the Atlantic Ocean.  Many U.S. cities have already invested millions of dollars to increase the size of their docks in order to handle the larger ships passing through the expanded canal.  Liquefied natural gas producers from the Gulf of Mexico who are shipping their product to Asian markets must still travel around South America at Cape Horn, a two-week delay compared to crossing the Panama Canal.  Also, Panama will be able to increase its annual toll revenue from the canal from $1 billion to $4 billion once the project is finished.

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  • Date occured Tuesday, 04 February 2014
Monday, 06 January 2014 00:00

Panama Canal Expansion May Face Delays

Spanish construction company Sacyr Vallehermoso announced Wednesday that the Panama Canal Authority has 21 days to pay for the nearly $1.6 billion in cost overruns on the canal expansion project.  Pananma’s President, Ricardo Martinelli, tweeted that he will reject the company’s ultimatum, and he plans to travel to Spain on Thursday to demand that Sacyr and Impregilo (Italian construction company) honor the original terms of the contract.  If the two sides cannot reach an agreement by January 20, the canal expansion contract states that the two parties must head to a Paris-based arbitration court.

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  • Date occured Wednesday, 01 January 2014