Nicaragua canal route announced
By Fausto Oliveira09 July 2014
The Nicaraguan government and concessionaire Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co. (HKND) have released details of the route for the proposed Atlantic-Pacific canal across the country. Conceived as a rival to the Panama Canal, the scheme was announced in June last year following a controversial vote in Congress.
The canal will start at the port of Brito on the Pacific coast, and pass Lake Nicaragua before following close to the Tula and Punta Gorda rivers to enter the Caribbean Sea at the port of Bluefields Bay.
The total length of the route will be 278 km, 105 km of which will be in Lake Nicaragua. The excavated channel will vary between 230 m and 520 m wide and will be 30 m deep.
The construction budget has not been finalised, but is put at some US$ 40 billion. It will be Chinese concessionaire HKND’s responsibility to raise these funds, and it will have the right to operate the canal for 50 years.
Construction is due to start at the end of this year and take five years to complete. There are six sub-projects within the overall scheme – the construction of the channel itself, two deep water ports, a free-trade area and an airport in the city of Rivas and associated tourist development projects.