The locks contractor Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) has agreed to restart the construction of the third set of locks for the expanded Panama Canal, according to a press release from the canal authority (ACP).

The GUPC is comprised of Sacyr Vallehermoso (Spain), Impregilo (Italy), Jan de Nul Group (Belgium) and Constructora Urbana (CUSA) (Panama).

As soon as the works is resumed, ACP said it will pay GUPC $36.8 million for December invoices to ensure that GUPC meets pending payments and obligations to suppliers.

Additionally, the parties have agreed in the next 72 hours to discuss other points such as the dates for the delivery of the gates, a schedule for the remainder of the work, a timetable for payments and other key aspects of the project.

The work on the canal has been suspended due to payment and cost overrun issues.

The decision was made today during telephone conversations between the ACP and the CEOs of the companies in the consortium, but there are still some issues on which an agreement has not been reached, according to the ACP.