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Panama Canal expansion project resumes after work stoppage

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Panama Canal expansion project resumes after work stoppage
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A Spanish-led consortium has resumed expansion work on the Panama Canal, which has been the subject of a dispute over who should pay up for 1.6 billion dollars (1.16 billion euros) of cost overruns.

As workers returned to the construction site after a stoppage lasting more than two weeks, a source close to the consortium, led by Spanish builder Sacyr and Italy’s Salini Impregilo, said it had resolved internal disagreements over the key issue of financing.

“The restarting of the works is being done in a way that will enable it to reach full pace in the shortest time possible,” the consortium said in a statement.

Panama Canal administrator Jorge Quijano said: “We believe that with the discussion we had last night and the comments made, we can find a path out of this.”

The authority plans to settle remaining issues over the next three days, including delivery dates of huge lock gates being built in Europe.

The project, to build two new sets of locks to accommodate larger ships along the canal – which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans – is months behind schedule.