MARITIME AFFAIRS

GUPC yet to provide report on Canal expansion issues

The new locks on the Pacific side have had filtration issues.

The situation may further delay the project.

Temas:

A month after a leak was found in one of the walls of the new locks on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal, contractor Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) has yet to deliver a report with details of the problem to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).

The ACP said it instructed GUPC to submit a detailed report on the situation with the cause and remediation plans, but it has yet to receive the document.

"We have not received the answers we required from GUPC," the ACP said.

GUPC Chairman Giuseppe Quarta, however, said yesterday that the consortium is "in permanent contact with the ACP. We are discussing everything that happened and everything that we are doing. The ACP is perfectly aware of what is happening."

The consortium chairman also said the situation could delay the delivery of the project, slated for April 2016, but that is not yet a certainty.

ACP Deputy Administrator Manuel Benítez said that the consortium has yet to inform the agency of any delays.

"Therefore, the entity is preparing to start operations in April 2016," he said. but he also acknowledged that a delay is likely.

"We don't want to speed things up in any way if the result would be a work that does not have the quality we expect," he said. "In the end what interests us is to receive a structure that will last."

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