LatinNews Daily - 17 May 2023

In brief: Panama Canal Authority claims arbitration victory

* The Miami-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration panel has rejected a U$671m claim against the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) from multinational consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), which constructed the new third set of locks in the Panama Canal. This is the latest decision related to disputes over extension works for the Panama Canal between the ACP and GUPC (which comprises Spain’s Sacyr Vallehermoso, Italy’s Impreglio, Belgium’s Jan de Nul, and Panama’s Constructora Urbana S.A [Cusa]). In its latest decision, the ICC also ordered ACP to pay out US$34m in relation to labour costs although the GUPC was ordered to pay ACP US$20.6m in legal costs. GUPC has filed five arbitration cases before the ICC, three of which have concluded with rulings in favour of the ACP according to an ACP statement. These include a 2018 ruling ordering GUPC to pay ACP US$847.6m, and a 2020 ruling ordering GUPC to pay ACP US$271m. The disputes are over cost overruns related to the canal’s expansion, which was completed in 2016.

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