Friday, June 21, 2013

Nicaragua Canal Project Gets a Developer

The attempt to build an alternative to the Panama Canal became a bit closer to reality recently, as the Nicaraguan legislature has approved an exclusive commercial agreement with infrastructure development firm HKND Group to advance the Nicaragua Canal and Development Project.

The agreement, which was ratified June 13, grants Hong Kong-based HKND exclusive rights for the planning, design, construction, operation, and management of the Nicaragua Canal and other potential infrastructure development projects, including free trade zones and an international airport.

“Central America is at the center of North-South and East-West global trade flows, and we believe Nicaragua provides the perfect location for a new international shipping and logistics hub,” HKND Group Chairman Wang Jing said in a prepared statement announcing the agreement.

“Global shipping demands the efficiency and cost competitiveness of increasingly larger ships, and we believe this project will serve that still-unmet need,” Jing said.

The Nicaragua Canal is a proposed waterway through Nicaragua to connect the Pacific Ocean with Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. The 130-mile waterway is expected to take up to 11 years to complete.

HKND says it has determined that contrary to previous belief, the route will not follow the San Juan River and that it is exploring the viability of alternate pathways.

HKND says that initial findings from its commercial analysis state that growth in East-West trade and ship sizes could eventually lead to $1.4 trillion in total goods value transiting the combined Nicaragua and Panama canals.