Panama Canal Opposes GUPC’s Cost Overrun Claim

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has dismissed claims by GUPC, a consortium that constructed the Expanded Panama Canal, related to cost overruns in the expansion of the waterway.

The ACP said it opposes the admissibility of new claims submitted by the consortium, with several of them leading to arbitration and not complying with the dispute resolution procedure established in the contract.

Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), comprised of Spain’s Sacyr, Italy’s Salini – Impregilo, Belgium’s Jan De Nul and Panama’s Constructora Urban, SA (CUSA), was awarded the USD 3.2 billion project to expand the canal in 2009.

However, the amount that GUPC presented upon the completion of the works was higher than initially projected.

On December 19, 2016, the ACP received two new requests for arbitration filed by GUPC before the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and these claims have already been submitted directly to arbitration.

As a result of these requests, the total amount claimed by the consortium increased from USD 3.28 to USD 5.67 billion.

Most of the claims included in the arbitration requests were already in the pre-arbitration instances and several have not been resolved by the Dispute Resolution Board (DAB), according to the ACP.

The DAB was formed to hear disputes arising between the ACP and the contractor.

World Maritime News Staff

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