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Panama Canal authority rejects demand that it pay $1 billion more to continue expansion

Negotiations over massive cost overruns in the expansion of the Panama Canal appears to have run into trouble with one of the companies carrying out the expansion demanding more than $1 billion to continue work.

The Panama Canal Authority immediately rejected the proposal.

Canal administrator Jorge Luis Quijano said Wednesday that "there is no negotiation outside the contract."

The authority proposed Tuesday that it inject $183 million into the project to allow the consortium expanding the canal to continue work for several months while a permanent solution is sought to a dispute of the more than $1.5-billion cost overruns. The authority wants the consortium to put in $100 million.

Italy's Impregilo, one of three corporations in the consortium, countered with a demand for $1 billion from the canal authority.