Nicaragua Canal

Proposed shipping route across Nicaragua / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Nicaraguan Canal (Spanish: Canal de Nicaragua), formally the Nicaraguan Canal and Development Project (also referred to as the Nicaragua Grand Canal, or the Grand Interoceanic Canal) was a proposed shipping route through Nicaragua to connect the Caribbean Sea (and therefore the Atlantic Ocean) with the Pacific Ocean. Scientists were concerned about the project's environmental impact, as Lake Nicaragua is Central America's key freshwater reservoir[4] while the project's viability was questioned by shipping experts and engineers.[5]

Quick facts: Nicaragua Canal, Specifications, Length, Stat...
Nicaragua Canal
Nicaragua Canal Project (2014) (blue line). Stars indicate the proposed Brito and Camilo Locks. The red line is the border between Nicaragua (above) and Costa Rica (below).
Length270 km (170 miles)
Original ownerHK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment
Date of act2013
Start pointPunta Brito
End pointBluefields

Construction of a canal using the San Juan River as an access route to Lake Nicaragua was first proposed in the early colonial era. The United States abandoned plans to construct a waterway in Nicaragua in the early 20th century after it purchased the French interests in the Panama Canal.

In June 2013, Nicaragua's National Assembly approved a bill to grant a 50 year concession to finance and manage the project to the HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Group (HKND) headed by Wang Jing, a Chinese businessman.[6][7][8][9][10][11] The concession could have been extended for another 50 years once the waterway was operational.[12]

In 2015, media reports suggested the project would be delayed and possibly cancelled because Wang's personal wealth declined greatly as a result of the 2015–16 Chinese stock market crash.[5][13] "Major works" such as dredging were to take place after the finishing of a Pacific Ocean wharf, whose construction was planned to start in late 2016.[5] The Nicaraguan government failed to present reliable information about whether or not the project could be financed, thus casting doubt over whether it would be completed.[14][15][16][17] The HKND Group stated that financing would come from debt and equity sales and a potential initial public offering (IPO).[5]

By May 2017, no concrete action had been taken toward constructing the canal and further doubts were expressed about its financing.[18] In February 2018, analysts widely viewed the project as defunct,[1][3][19] though the head of the project insisted work was on-going[1] and HKND, which vanished in April 2018,[20] retained the legal rights to the concession for the canal and side projects.[21]