Nicaragua’s Inter-oceanic Canal: Expectations and Challenges

NICARAGUA NEWS – The confirmation of the beginning of construction works in Nicaragua”s inter-oceanic canal in December and the progress made in that project have raised expectations about what has been described as a major boost to the national economy.

The work, considered an engineering challenge, might become a valuable way for commerce and communication, while fulfilling centuries-old aspirations.

According to Dutch engineer Jangeert van der Post, a researcher and author of a book on the matter, the idea of building a canal in Nicaragua emerged in the Colony and since then on, 72 attempts have been made but few of them have been feasible and well designed.

Despite the interest expressed by powers such as the United States, some plans were interrupted in the early 20th century, after that country acquired the project that France had abandoned in Panama, and some other projects were never materialized.

In the year of the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal, the signs to carry out a similar project bring up old hopes, while posing new challenges and raising the interest of companies and governments from different parts of the world.

Recently, a member of the Grand Canal Commission, Telémaco Talavera, announced the beginning of construction works in Puerto Brito, on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast, in December, being this the initial step of the project.

The inter-oceanic structure, whose route was announced in July 2014, will be approximately 278 kilometers long, 105 kilometers of which will go through the Managua Lake.

According to the Chinese company HKND, the total cost of the project will be 50 billion dollars and its construction will last five years.

In addition to the canal, the project will involve the construction of an airport, several roads, a duty-free zone, tourist complexes and two ports, one on the Pacific and another on the Atlantic.