Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Nicaraguan Canal Construction Delayed

By Mark Edward Nero

The developer hired by the Nicaraguan government to build an alternative to the Panama Canal, Hong Kong-based infrastructure development firm HKND Group, says it needs another year before it can begin constructing the $50 billion project.

The developer, which originally was to begin construction by late 2015, recently said that it needs more time to “fine-tune” the project, the International Business Times reported in late November. HKND was granted the exclusive right to build the canal in 2013.

As the name implies, 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.

It was in June 2013 that the Nicaraguan legislature approved an exclusive commercial agreement with HKND to advance the Nicaragua Canal and Development Project.

The canal is designed to accommodate container vessels up to 25,000 TEUs, super tankers of 320,000 deadweight tons and bulk carriers of 400,000 dwt. The planned project includes the construction of two ports, a free-trade zone and an international airport.

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, HKND says its own commercial analysis has found.