Concerns Panama Canal crack fixes may not be so quick

More than a week after the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said its deadlines for the expansion project would not be negatively affected by a crack and leak in the new third set of locks, new reports from various sources suggest things are not so hunky dory.

The crack and leak appeared during testing of the new locks, which involved filling them gradually with vast amount of water. That testing process began in June.

Now, rather than bullishly declaring the deadline of April 2016 still stands for the opening of the expanded Canal, reports from a variety of sources including engineering specialty sites, talk of a more circumspect approach by ACP behind the scenes.

The ACP, according to these reports, is awaiting a detailed report from the contractor responsible for the new locks Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), a consortium comprising Spain’s Sacyr, Italy’s Impregilo, Belgium’s Jan de Nul and Panama’s CUSA.

ACP has always insisted on the unacceptability of any deficiencies in the quality of work by the contractor. And GUPC is expected to meet all the costs involved in fixing the crack.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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