Nicaragua Begins Construction of New Canal, When Will SOUTHCOM Intervene?

The impressive numbers Grand Canal of Nicaragua

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Nicaragua celebrates the start of construction of the canal in its territory.

Photo: BBC

This Monday, December 22, Nicaragua ceremony celebrates start of construction of a new canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. A project worth US $ 50,000 million.

Depends on who you look, the project of the Grand Canal of Nicaragua, which seeks to compete with that of Panama, would be a scar in the heart of Central or artery to inject new blood into the region.

According to the government of Daniel Ortega, will provide many economic benefits to the country and end the extreme poverty and unemployment. But some suspect that it is not economically viable and environmental experts believe it could have a negative environmental impact.

HKND company, based in Hong Kong, received a 50-year concession for the rights to build the canal and another 50 years to handle it. Leading the company is a mysterious Chinese billionaire Wang Jing.

This waterway will be longer, deeper and wider than the Panama Canal.
BBC World offers a look at some of the figures that involves the work and realize how challenging it is.

50,000

Those are the millions of dollars that is expected to require the construction of channel Nicaragua, according HKND, the company’s Hong Kong who is in charge of the project.

278

The long anticipated Nicaragua Canal in kilometers. That of Panama is 77 kilometers, so the new channel will be more than three times longer average.

8,624

Surface of the Great Lake Nicaragua in km2. The canal route will pass through this body of fresh water, most of Central America, which has generated criticism from environmentalists.

5

The number of years that is expected to last the work, as announced by its promoters. The plan is to start construction in late 2014 and that the channel begins operating in 2020.

10

The years it took the United States to build the Panama Canal, completed in 1914.

50,000

The amount of people who, according HKND, used the work of the canal. The company says it will also create 200,000 indirect jobs.

27.6

The maximum depth in meters, which will channel whose width varies between 230 and 520 meters.

41

The age of Wang Jing, the mysterious businessman who runs HKND, who has been criticized for its lack of experience in ventures of this type, involving a huge engineering challenge.

50

Duration in year concession loan from Nicaragua to HKND, which can be extended for another 50.

1833

First official mention in Nicaragua on the proposed construction of a canal, in a decree of December 10 of that year. A society formed in the Netherlands would be in charge of the work.

Nicaragua Canal route
Photo: BBC