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Plans move forward rapidly on interoceanic canal project

News from Nicaragua | Thursday, 21 November 2013 | Click here for original article

In June 2013,Nicaragua’s National Assembly approved a bill to grant a 50-year concession to the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co (HKND) to conduct a feasibility study and build a 250km interoceanic canal across Nicaragua.

In October a delegation of Nicaraguan business people, politicians, academics and others travelled toChinato meet with HKND CEO Wang Jing and others involved in plans for the canal. Jose Adan Aguerri of the Nicaraguan Superior Council on Private Enterprise (COSEP) commented, “We saw on this trip that the Chinese firms have the technical capacity” to build the canal and that “the will exists to make the environmental impact study the factor that determines whether the canal will be built.”

Professor and diplomat Arturo Cruz added, “This trip was important for the Nicaraguan delegation because we breathed the price ofChina’s notable economic development— the enormous problems of environmental contamination. InXuzhou… we saw that the authorities are investing massively in the rehabilitation of abandoned mines, converting them into green areas.” He added that one “shouldn’t forget that the international prestige of China is at play, …I think that the nationalism of the Chinese will motivate them to carry forward this much more complicated project than the Panama Canal demonstrating to the world… that they learned the great lesson of sustainable development, which has been the Achilles heel of the Chinese development model.”

An economic feasibility study is proceeding carried out by McKinsey and Company, the environmental impact study by British Company Environmental Resource Management (ERM), and the technical study by the China Railway Construction Company (CRCC).