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Nicaragua announces that construction of inter-ocean canal begins this year

Monday, January 13th 2014 - 07:27 UTC
Full article 26 comments
President Ortega and Chinese tycoon Wang Jing during the announcement ceremony President Ortega and Chinese tycoon Wang Jing during the announcement ceremony
Nicaragua inter-ocean canal Nicaragua inter-ocean canal

President Manuel Ortega said on Saturday that the construction of a massive inter-oceanic canal in Nicaragua that could significantly alter global trade would start at the end of 2014. Ortega gave a Chinese group a concession to manage the future shipping channel for 50 years, with the possibility to renew the contract for another 50.

 “The Nicaraguan government and HKND Group are pleased to confirm that canal construction work will begin as planned in December 2014,” Ortega announced alongside Chinese tycoon Wang Jing, whose group has secured the rights to dig and operate the waterway.

The massive 30-billion-Euro project would connect the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and rival the century-old Panama canal.

The Panama canal is currently building a new lane of traffic to double its capacity, but the expansion is running behind schedule.

Nicaraguan authorities have said that besides the future waterway, their project would include an oil pipeline, an overland route, two deepwater ports, two airports and duty-free zones.

Nicaraguan legislators in June approved granting Wang Jing the canal concession, and in December the Supreme Court in Managua said the project did not violate the constitution.

Opponents say the project is not financially feasible and have raised concerns about displacing indigenous groups and damage to the environment.

Saturday’s announcement appeared to contradict recent government statements that construction would be delayed until 2015.

One week ago, Manuel Coronel Kautz, president of the canal authority, told a national newspaper that digging would not start on time because the canal’s path remained undefined.

Top Comments

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  • ChrisR

    Oh dear, looks like Panama should have got it's act in order sooner and not relied on the Spanish!

    The only thing you can rely on with the Spanish is to fuck it up, overcharge for it and blame everybody else when it all turns to shit. What a people: what a language!

    Spanish / Espanol: why use eight English words to describe an idea perfectly when 50 Espanol ones won't! © ChrisR 2014

    Jan 13th, 2014 - 04:10 pm 0
  • GeoffWard2

    The National Assembly controlled by Ortega's Sandinista party approved :
    1. giving Beijing-based telecommunications CEO Wang Jing a 50-year renewable concession of 100 years, to build a canal more than three times the length of the Panama Canal, as well as
    2. tax-free side projects including ports on Nicaragua's Pacific and Atlantic coasts,
    3. an oil pipeline bisecting the country,
    4. a cargo railway,
    5. two free-trade zones and
    6. an international airport.'

    ”It's basically handing over the whole country - water, air and land, (to China) without any studies”

    Read it, it is a good report!

    Jan 13th, 2014 - 04:57 pm 0
  • Think

    (2) GeoffWard2

    The DailyMail???

    Even so....... It's a much better deal than the one Panama got from the Americans.....

    Them Yanks even killed my dads fishing-buddy in the process (O.T.)

    Jan 13th, 2014 - 06:21 pm 0
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