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Two Canals, One Problem

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As both the Nicaragua Canal plan and the Panama Canal upgrade move into full-swing, concerns have been raised relating to the funding for each project.

According to the Journal of Commerce, only US$200 million in funding has so far been raised out of $50 billion required for the Nicaragua Canal project, with the Panama Canal upgrade overrunning costs by $1.6 billion. 

Work began on the Nicaragua Canal project recently, with project leader Wang Jing of HKND  reportedly avoiding questions about recent delays in accessing vital routes and the legitimacy of financial backers.

Panama Canal officials have also questioned how economical the Nicaragua Canal project will be and dismissed claims that it will be a competitive threat to the Panama Canal, which is due to be completed in early 2016.

The five-year timetable set for the completion of the Nicaragua Canal is leading many in the industry to conclude that China will finance the project themselves.

Former US Ambassador to Nicaragua, Arturo Cruz said: “If the canal goes ahead, it will be because the Chinese government wants it to, and the financing will come from China’s various state firms.”

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