Work on widening Panama Canal suspended after dispute on rising costs

Feb 6, 2014 10:10 IST

The work on the project of widening the shipping route of Panama Canal was suspended by the Panama Canal Authority on 5 February 2014. It was suspended following dispute over rising costs.

Earlier, the Panamanian authorities were given a deadline to pay 1.6 billion dollars in added costs to the project by the building consortium led by the Spanish Company in January 2014.

The authority of the Panama Canal has refused to pay by blaming the building companies for increased construction bill. This decision of the authority would have an impact across the region because of the heavy investments made by many ports who were expecting greater business following the widening of the Canal.
The cost of the project was originally expected about 5.25 billion dollars but it overturned because of the raise of the project to 7 billion dollars.

About Panama Canal Shipping Routes
Panama Canal shipping route is one of the world’s most important shipping routes. It is a 77.1 kilometer ship canal in Panama and connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean via the Caribbean Sea. It was opened on 15 August 1914 and is one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects undertaken till now. Development of the canal shortened the route traveling time taken by ships to travel between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and allowed to avoid the route through hazardous Cape Horn route via the Drake Passage or Strait of Magellan.

Portuguese sailor, Ferdinand Magellan was the first European to navigate through the Strait of Magellan in 1520 by in the service of Charles I of Spain. This was done by him during his global circumnavigation voyage.

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