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Threat to halt Panama Canal expansion rescinded

Published:Monday | January 20, 2014 | 1:23 PM

A Spanish-led consortium has backed down on its threat to halt work on expanding the Panama Canal.



Jamaica is banking on the expansion of the canal due for completion next year, to realise its own Logistics Hub project which is expected to bring significant investments.



In a statement late yesterday, the consortium said a stoppage is not a scenario being considered at this moment.



The group added that it remains an option unless a row with the Panama authorities was resolved.



The consortium had said it would suspend work today unless the Panama Canal Authority paid $1.6 billion in cost overrun.



The Panama Canal Authority – the government agency that runs the waterway – said informal negotiations had been held over the weekend but did not say if an agreement was any closer.



The consortium is expected to hold talks with the Panama Canal Authority and insurers Zurich North America tomorrow to discuss the status of the expansion project.



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