Panama Canal says can't negotiate on Impregilo proposal

MEXICO CITY Wed Jan 8, 2014 12:40pm EST

Workers are seen at the construction site of the Panama Canal Expansion project on the outskirts of Colon City January 7, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Workers are seen at the construction site of the Panama Canal Expansion project on the outskirts of Colon City January 7, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Carlos Jasso

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The head of the Panama Canal Authority said on Wednesday he could not negotiate over a new proposal by Italian builder Salini Impregilo to keep work going to expand the waterway, which a row over costs threatens to disrupt.

Jorge Quijano, the canal's administrator, said the proposal by Impregilo was outside the framework of agreed contracts.

The chief executive of Italian builder Salini Impregilo earlier on Wednesday outlined two alternative solutions to end the dispute over cost overruns, including a call for a settlement payment of $1 billion to finish the work.

(Reporting by Lomi Kriel)

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