ACP and Spanish consortium in $193m dispute over lock construction

Jorge Quijano, head of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said on Monday that a Miami-based arbitration board had rejected a demand by Spanish-led GUPC consortium for $192.8m to cover cost overruns during the building of a third set of locks for the century-old waterway, reports Reuters.

Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) includes Sacyr SA of Spain, Impregilo of Italy, Jan De Nul of Belgium and Constructura Urbana of Panama.

“We have been informed that we have won a major arbitration dealing with the expansion of the canal by the GUPC contractor for $192.8 million,” Quijano wrote in a Facebook post.

An ACP spokesperson said the authority had not been authorized to provide a copy of the ruling, and the arbitration tribunal with the Miami-based International Chamber of Commerce has not commented. Neither has GUPC.

GUPC had argued that ACP should compensate it for costs associated with temporary water infrastructure it built on the Pacific entrance of the canal. ACP claimed that the arbitration panel had ordered GUPC to pay more than $22m for the authority’s expenses associated with the arbitration, as well as $900,000 in additional reimbursements. The $5.4 billion expansion of the Panama Canal was completed in June 2016.