Panama Canal authority proposes negotiated to dispute that threatened to halt expansion

The Panama Canal Authority says it wants to end a standoff over the expansion of the canal by splitting the cost with the international consortium that was threatening to halt work unless the authority came up with $1.6 billion in extra funding.

The authority said Tuesday that it would pay $183 million and Grupo Unidos por el Canal would put in $100 million.

The Spanish-led consortium would withdraw its threat to halt work on the canal on Jan. 20. The consortium offered no immediate response to the authority's offer.

The consortium is formed by Spain's Sacyr Vallehermoso, Impregilo of Italy, Jan De Nul of Belgium and Constructora Urbana SA of Panama. It says unexpected problems with the quality of material supposed to be used to make cement spawned massive overruns.