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Thursday, May 23 2019 @ 05:52 AM UTC

Panama Canal Expansion Project Now Officially Delayed At Least Six Months - Probably More

Canal ExpansionBy DON WINNER for - According to an article published today by the Journal of Commerce, the consortium responsible for building the third set of locks as part of the project to expand the Panama Canal, Grupo Unidos por el Canal, has officially reported to the Panama Canal Authority they will not be able to deliver the project on time. In a letter GUPC told the Panama Canal authority the project will not be delivered until April 2015, some six months past the required date of October 2014. According to the contract, the GUPC faces penalties of $300,000 per day if it cannot complete the locks on time, up to a maximum of $54 million dollars. The entire contract was for $3.2 billion dollars so therefore the maximum possible penalty represents about 1.7% of the total contract value. Here's a link to the article in the Journal of Commerce.

Not News For You: All of this, of course, is not news for Panama Guide readers. I've been reporting for months the delivery of the third set of locks is going to be severely delayed. Everyone is now focusing on this "quality of the cement" issue as the culprit to blame, but according to my sources the real problems causing the delays are mismanagement of the execution of the project - little things like making sure vehicles are fueled - stuff like that. There are delays and setbacks and when they check to see the "why" and "what happened" that's what they are finding, not bad cement. Anyway, apparently now the government of Panama, the GUPC, and the Panama Canal Administration have figured out you simply can't keep something this big and important under wraps. With the publication of this article, I'll be checking in with my sources to see if the new projected delivery date of April 2015 is even remotely possible. According to what they've already told me, my initial response would be "wishful thinking." Ricardo Martinelli's administration has to slowly let the air out of this balloon so it can't pop in their faces come the elections of May 2014.

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Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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