Panama canal plan

PANAMA CITY: Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela urged the Spanish-led consortium expanding the Panama Canal on Saturday to leave legal disputes to the ‘competent authorities’ and focus instead

on completing its work on the waterway. The appeal came after the Dispute Adjudication Board hearing a budget overrun dispute for the project ordered the Panama Canal Authority to pay the consortium $17 million for extra labour costs and for a strike called by workers. The appeal was made as part of Varela’s address to the

Central American country as the Panamanian congress began its legislative sessions for 2016. Grupo Unidos por el Canal de Panama consortium’s expansion work on the canal,started in 2007, is running well behind schedule. The extensions were originally meant to have been completed in October 2014 but are now pushed back to an April 2016 deadline. The cost of the work was projected at $5.3 billion, but that has been greatly exceeded.