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The Panama Canal Authority earlier this week announced locks contractor Grupo Unidos por el Canal S.A. (GUPC) agreed to restart construction on the expansion project's third set of locks. Work resumed yesterday.The authority agreed to pay GUPC $36.8 million for December invoices after construction resumed to ensure the contractor cancels pending payments and obligations to suppliers. GUPC is a joint venture including Sacyr Vallehermoso S.A. from Spain, Impregilo S.p.A. from Italy, Jan de Nul Group from Belgium and Constructora Urbana S.A. from Panama.The authority and GUPC also agreed to soon discuss other points that had caused work to stop at the locks about two weeks ago, such as the dates for the delivery of the gates, an implementation schedule for the remainder of the work, a timetable of repayment moratorium and other project development aspects. There still are some issues the parties have not yet reached agreement on, authority officials said in a press release.GUPC ceased construction on the locks because of cost overruns and disagreements with the authority on several financial issues. Instead of late 2014, the locks now are projected to be completed in mid-2015.
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