Sacyr group suspends Panama Canal project due to cost overrun

Work would allow larger ships to pass through the waterway

Madrid -

A consortium led by Spanish construction firm Sacyr said Wednesday it had decided to suspend work on the emblematic project to widen the Panama Canal because of the impossibility of completing the project on the basis of the costs quoted in its tender.

The consortium, which also includes Italy's Impregilo, the Belgian firm Jan de Nul and the Panamanian company CUSA, wants the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) to agree to pay an additional $1.6 billion (1.16 billion euros) in order to continue the project, which would allow larger ships to pass through the waterway.

The consortium, which won the tender for the project with a bid of $5.25 billion (3.8 billion euros), said it had taken the decision to suspend work because of a "lack of response from the PCA" to its economic demands. The project is due to be completed in June of 2015.

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