Something interesting is happening in Panama!
Short version: the Panama Canal expansion is running overbudget and behind schedule. That is not interesting. That is par for the course for big infrastructure projects! In fact, the overruns amount to only 30% of the initial projected cost of the project (and 70% of that is due to increased overtime). Compared to similar projects public-and-private, the Canal expansion is doing pretty good.
The prime contractor, Sacyr, is claiming that it was misled about the geology. So it is demanding restitution for the increased costs. Again, not interesting, par for the course.
What is interesting is Jorge Quijano’s reaction. Quijano is the CEO of the Panama Canal Authority, and he is not having any nonsense. He told Sacyr that the contract is the contract. Sacyr said that they would stop work and good luck with that Canal, shame if anything should happen to delay it even more. Today, Quijano called their bluff.
That rarely happens in these sorts of projects, where the sponsor is usually too afraid of further delays to hold their ground.
Go, Mr. Quijano! I am very impressed. This will be fun to watch.