A Man, a Plan, a Delay, Panama: Don't Hold Your Breath for the Awesome New Panama Canal

Don't Hold Your Breath for the Awesome New Panama Canal

Don't Hold Your Breath for the Awesome New Panama Canal

The World
How It Works
Feb. 5 2014 4:40 PM

A Man, a Plan, a Delay, Panama

466974395-view-of-halted-expansion-works-at-panama-canal-locks-in
Expansion work on Panama Canal locks has been halted in Cocoli, near Panama City, on Feb. 5, 2014.

Photo by Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty Images

The going attempts to expand the Panama Canal don’t seem to be going so well. Reuters reports:

Joshua Keating Joshua Keating

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs. 

Group United for the Canal, a consortium led by Spanish builder Sacyr, said in a statement that the government's canal authority had broken off talks on who will pay some $1.6 billion needed to complete the ambitious project.
Advertisement

 Most work on the canal has halted while the two sides attempt to resolve the disputes.

The project on the 100-year-old canal, meant to accommodate the increasing number of ships—particularly natural gas tankers—that exceed so-called Panamax size, was about 70 percent complete.

The only good news for Panama and the consortium is that a much-heralded project, backed by a Chinese firm, to build a new, much longer, canal through Nicaragua also appears to be way behind schedule.

Post-Panamax ships now make up about 16 percent of the world's container fleet today but carry 45 percent of the cargo.