In this Jan. 14, 2014 photo, a small boat takes in a line of rope from a cargo ship while entering to the Pedro Miguel locks at the Panama Canal near Panama City. The current canal expansion project would double its capacity. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco) (The Associated Press)
In this Jan. 11, 2014 photo, cranes tower over the construction site of the Panama Canal's Atlantic side in Gatun, north of Panama City. The Spanish-led consortium hired to handle the biggest part of the canal expansion says it will halt work by Monday, Jan. 20 if the canal authority doesn’t come up with the funds to cover cost overruns, while the authority insists the consortium live up to the terms of the original contract. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco) (The Associated Press)
PANAMA CITY – The Spanish-led consortium hired to handle the biggest part of the Panama Canal expansion says it does not foresee halting work Monday, but adds that it's an option if there is no resolution to a financial dispute.
The canal-building consortium known as United for the Canal says in a brief statement issued Sunday that stopping the expansion "is not a scenario being considered at this moment." But it says it's entitled to suspend work any time after Monday.
The group has given Panamanian Canal authorities a Sunday deadline to come up with the funds to cover $1.6 billion in cost overruns. The authority insists the consortium live up to the terms of the original contract.
No agreement had been reached as of Sunday.