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Delays Rock Nicaragua Canal Build

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The Nicaragua Canal is to undergo four more environmental impact studies, which is anticipated to delay the start of construction for the canal until early 2016, according to IHS Maritime 360.

It was previously reported that the Nicaragua Canal, on the whole, had received public backing from around 78% of Nicaraguans on the condition that it was diverted 500 metres away from the town of El Tule.

The studies have been advised by UK-based company Environmental Resources Management.

Paul Oquist, executive director of the Nicaragua Grand Canal Commission, said: “We and (Nicaragua president Daniel Ortega) have made the decision that all studies recommended by the environmental groups have to be undertaken. No stone will be left unturned in terms of the environmental elements.”

Once the project has been officially started in Q1, 2016, bidding briefs will take place for projects, which will include dredging and two new ports.

Fact File: The Nicaragua Canal will cost around US$50 billion to construct and is being led by the Chinese-led HKND group. It is one of the largest engineering projects in the world is anticipated to offer a competitive alternative to shippers using the Panama Canal, which will be operational in early 2016.

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