Is this the End of the Nicaragua Canal?


The US$50 billion construction of the Nicaraguan Interoceanic Grand Canal has been delayed again – this time until late 2016, with the canal’s developer HKND stating that it needs more time to fine-tune the project, according to The International Business Times.

The news shortly follows the approval that HKND was given on the environmental and social impact studies for the waterway project, which confirmed that the project was ready to begin construction.

The Environmental Resources Management (ERM) said: “It is anticipated that construction and operation of a Canal de Nicaragua would significantly benefit the Nicaraguan economy as a result of increased economic production, corporate diversity, and markets; more jobs, increased personal income and spending, improved skills and experience of workers as well as improved transport infrastructure.”

The planned project has a total of 6 sub-projects, including two ports, a free-trade zone, and an international airport.

The Nicaragua Canal has historically been controversial, due to the risks that could be placed on the people of Nicaragua, despite compliance with more than 40 social, environmental and economic requirements.

However, after an ambitious plan to complete the canal by 2020, the project has been repeatedly hit by setbacks. Moreover, Wang Jing, Leader of the HKND group, recently lost almost US$9 billion of his net worth as a result of the Chinese financial crash, bringing his total worth down to $1.1 billion and placing the Nicaragua Canal build in severe jeopardy.

As setbacks and funding issues mount, and dissenting voices increase regarding the viability of the project, the Nicaragua Canal faces an uphill battle to become a reality.

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