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Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 06:48 AM EDT

GUPC Says Panama Canal Expansion At Least One Year Delayed - Trying To Catch Up

Canal ExpansionThe administrator of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), Alberto Aleman Zubieta, said yesterday to a group of journalists the work to expand the Panama Canal will not end in October 2014 as planned, but rather six months later, in April 2015. The delay comes after the dispute between the consortium Group United For The Canal and the ACP over the quality of the concrete used to build the new locks. 'It certainly does have a delay of at least six months and they (the consortium) must recover the time," said Aleman. GUPC complains the Canal Authority guidelines have changed, and now they are making a claim for an additional payment of $573 million dollars. The delays "are a consequence of unexpected issues that are not the responsibility of the contractor," said Bernardo Gonzalez, project manager for GUPC. "That has meant a delay of one year, we are going to accelerate. We will try to finish, at most, six months late," he said. (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: Did you catch that? The Project Director for GUPC just said they are at least one year behind schedule, but now they are trying to catch up, and they hope to be just six months late. So the facts that I've been reporting for more than a year have once again been validated. The GUPC filed their request for an additional $573 million dollars (that's more than half a BILLION in case no one noticed) and they blame the delays on strikes by workers. And the rain. They say the Panamanian government was too slow to deliver permits. They say the concrete they wanted to use was not accepted by the government. All of these things are the reasons why they want to be paid an additional $573 million dollars. And of course - there's the conflict of interest issue. The Administrator of the Panama Canal Alberto Aleman Zubieta was formerly involved in the Panamanian construction company CUSA, which is a major player in the GUPC consortium. Do you think they will be getting their money? Of course they will. Do you think they will be penalized for mismanaging this project? Of course not. Hey, it's just money. Raise the tolls, what the hell...

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