The Panama Canal Authority's board of directors on Wednesday reaffirmed its support for Jorge Quijano and the rest of the administration managing the $5.2 billion expansion project, which now faces some uncertainty because of a contractual dust up with the consortium in charge of building a new set of locks for bigger cargo vessels.
The project is 72-percent complete, and officials insist they will finish the project, either with the current contractor or another one, if issues regarding payment of cost overruns cannot be resolved.
The Grupo Unidos por el Canal has set a Jan. 19 deadline for its demands to be met or it will cease work.
"The current situation, even though delicate, is but another challenge that we are facing together. We trust that it will be resolved," the board said in a statement signed by Chairman Roberto Roy.
The board added that the project "will be completed in the shortest amount of time and the lowest cost possible, within the terms of the contract."
Last week, GUPC's Italian member, Salini Impregilo, disparaged the competence of the Panama Canal administration, saying officials did not have the requisite experience to manage a mega-project like the Canal expansion.