Nicaragua canal: Will China build rival to Panama Canal?

amoy

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Nicaragua canal: Will China build rival to Panama Canal? - CSMonitor.com




The Chinese company, HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co. Ltd., is working with the Nicaraguan government on a massive canal project experts say could take 11 years to finish, cost $40 billion and require digging about 130 miles (200 kilometers) of waterway.
That's sparked hopes of an economic gold rush in Nicaragua, and President Daniel Ortega has pushed approval of the canal through the country's congress. Ortega presented the canal proposal Tuesday and hopes to submit it to at least an initial vote on Monday, with final approval planned by next Thursday.

"This is a question of a project that is very important for the country, and that is why it is being given urgent priority," said congressional leader Rene Nunez, an Ortega supporter.

The opposition Sandinista Renovation Movement, which split in 1995 from Ortega, has tried to slow down the debate by demanding more information about the developers, while other critics have questioned the plan's viability just a few hundred miles northwest of the Panama Canal.

The Chinese company's director, Wang Jing, is also listed in the same role in 12 other existing or dissolved Hong Kong companies.

"If this information isn't forthcoming, we can assume this is a swindle, a deal with a front company to get a concession, and then sell the rights to someone else," the renovation movement party said in a statement. "It's a corrupt deal to make a lot of money with fake investors."

Just as the Panama Canal was a projection of growing U.S. power at the start of the 20th century, the Nicaraguaproject already reflects China's influence and financial clout around the world. Another Hong Kong-based company has been operating port facilities on both ends of the Panama Canal.

The Nicaraguan canal's construction would mark the end of a long push that began at least as far back as the 19th century when U.S. industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt won the right to build the waterway but gave up amid political turmoil.

Other U.S. interests then studied building a canal in Nicaragua before settling on Panama as the crossing point.

This time around, critics have been asking whether Central America needs two canals, even in an age of growing world trade.

"Forty billion dollars is an extremely high amount and based on my experience and the studies we have done on world trade flows, the amount of traffic that would be needed to pay for a project of this size doesn't exist," said Eduardo Lugo, a Panamanian private consultant who's worked on traffic-demand calculations on the ongoing Panama Canal expansion.

Jason Bittner, director of the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of Southern Florida, said the demand will probably be there by the time the Nicaragua project is finished. Still, any new waterway would have to compete with the Panama Canal and the "land bridge" of railway networks that connect U.S. West Coast ports with the East Coast.

"I don't anticipate there being any reduced demand in trade between the global trading partners, so East Asia and the eastern United States will continue to have significant trade," Bittner said. "If you make this large public sector investment, it will be used, as long as it's priced properly, as long as the Panama Canal isn't significantly undercutting it."

Finding enough customers may turn out to be the least of the Chinese company's worries in a country that doesn't even have a paved road connecting its Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

For example, much of Nicaragua's water is earmarked for human use, and its lush rivers are too environmentally sensitive to be simply dredged into waterways or dammed to provide water to operate locks. Panama faced few such restrictions in the early 1900s when its canal was built.

In a previous version of the project presented in 2006, the promoters acknowledged they would probably have to build some dams, perhaps on rivers as sensitive as the San Juan, which runs along the border with Costa Rica.

In fact, the builders may have decided to eliminate a lot of digging by routing the canal through that river, according to a 2012 statement by Royal Haskoning DHV, a Dutch firm hired to do technical studies. That option had been written off in earlier proposals as too conflictive.

In 2011, Nicaragua and Costa Rica came close to an armed standoff over Nicaraguan dredging of the river to improve navigation. The World Court ordered both countries to withdraw armed forces from the area.

With 1.7 billion gallons (6.6 million cubic meters) of water per day needed to run Nicaragua's proposed locks, and tens of millions of tons of excavation needed, the project certainly looks daunting. Bittner noted that it matched the challenges of other mega-construction projects such as the Three Gorges Dam in China, which nonetheless took years and huge investments to complete.
 

amoy

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Nicaragua canal construction to begin in December - France - France 24



"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.

Ortega gave the Chinese group a concession to manage the future shipping channel for 50 years, with the possibility to renew the contract for another 50.

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.
 

no smoking

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I don't doubt if Chinese can complete this project.

The question is: is it profitable?
 

amoy

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the background of this HKND Group looks dubious. reportedly a telecom firm according to its website, not well known before, all of a sudden started to stage a 30b euro project , for which the return on investment is supposed to b slow.

Chinese govmt denied state backing, without which the prospect of such a grandiose plan seems rough. Nicaragua even has no diplomatic ties with PRC.

Sent from my 5910 using Tapatalk 2
 

amoy

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Work on Nicaragua canal to begin in December



Work on a huge project to rival the Panama Canal will begin in December with construction of a port on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, an official said Monday.

The 40 billion dollar project through Nicaragua linking the Caribbean and the Pacific has been assigned to a Chinese company, HK Nicaragua Development Co.

More than 1,000 specialists from several countries are carrying out environmental impact and other studies, said Telemaco Talavera, a presidential adviser on the canal project.

The firm is also carrying out a census of people and property in communities along the path of the planned waterway.
 

Ray

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The Canal has to be wider and deeper than the Panama Canal so as to be able to take ultra large crude carriers (ULCCs) of 550,000 DWT if it is to have any import.

Further, for military purposes, the canal should be able to take on the huge aircraft carriers that are being built.
 

amoy

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Nicaragua breaks ground on historic canal project

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Nicaraguan officials and a Chinese company broke ground Monday on a $50 billion transoceanic waterway predicted to rival the Panama Canal, but which has been a source of anger and protests from citizens in recent weeks.

Vice President Omar Halleslevens, with Wang Jing, president of the contracting firm HKND Group, said the canal will change the history and the economy of Nicaragua, one of Latin America's poorest countries.

The groundbreaking marked the start of some ancillary projects in Brito, a city about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from Nicaragua's Pacific coast where the first port will be built. Officials say the canal will be fully operational by 2019.

"With this great canal, Nicaragua expects to move 5 percent of the world's commerce that moves by sea, which will bring great economic benefits and double the GDP," Halleslevens said.

President Daniel Ortega was scheduled to make remarks later in the day from the capital, Managua.

Projected to span 173 miles (278 kilometers) between the Caribbean and the Pacific, the canal would be the realization of a dream that has been studied and discarded multiple times since the early 1800s.

Last year, Ortega's allies in Congress fast-tracked legislation granting Honk Kong-based HKND a 50-year concession, renewable for another 50, to build and operate a canal in return for a payment of $10 million a year once it's up and running. The law lets HKND develop ancillary projects — ports, an airport, roads, a railway — even if the canal doesn't get built.

Thousands of Nicaraguans have protested in the lead-up, fearing their land will be taken without fair compensation.
Comparison btwn Panama Canal and Nicaraguan Canal

 

amoy

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Iran Eyes Role in Nicaragua Canal Project

Interoceanic Grand Canal is about to link the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran is interested in a massive project to build a canal across Nicaragua which will link the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Zarif visited Nicaragua on Tuesday along with representatives of Iranian companies and discussed their possible involvement in the 50-billion-dollar project which is groomed to rival the Panama pathway.

China’s HKND group is tasked with carrying out the megaproject, with the construction about to begin at the end of this year.

At 172 miles (278 km), Interoceanic Grand Canal is over three times the length of the 100-year-old Panama Canal, which was completed by the United States 34 years after French engineers began it.

The US and its allies have tried to cast doubt on the project and question its viability.

The new route is also deeper and wider than the Panama Canal, triggering a flurry of resentment from the US and its allies which have tried to cast doubt on the project and question its viability.

Moreover, China's involvement would be a direct challenge to the United States, which controlled the Panama Canal until 1999.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/08/24/481431/Iran-Latin-America-Nicaragua-canal-Zarif
 

ezsasa

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Iran Eyes Role in Nicaragua Canal Project

Interoceanic Grand Canal is about to link the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran is interested in a massive project to build a canal across Nicaragua which will link the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Zarif visited Nicaragua on Tuesday along with representatives of Iranian companies and discussed their possible involvement in the 50-billion-dollar project which is groomed to rival the Panama pathway.

China’s HKND group is tasked with carrying out the megaproject, with the construction about to begin at the end of this year.

At 172 miles (278 km), Interoceanic Grand Canal is over three times the length of the 100-year-old Panama Canal, which was completed by the United States 34 years after French engineers began it.

The US and its allies have tried to cast doubt on the project and question its viability.

The new route is also deeper and wider than the Panama Canal, triggering a flurry of resentment from the US and its allies which have tried to cast doubt on the project and question its viability.

Moreover, China's involvement would be a direct challenge to the United States, which controlled the Panama Canal until 1999.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/08/24/481431/Iran-Latin-America-Nicaragua-canal-Zarif
Is this still going on? Last I remember , the promoter of this project suffered heavy losses in last year's Chinese stock market crash.
 

IndianHawk

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It's too long. They could make two more tunnels parallel to Panama with that much digging :eek1:
 

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