Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

The Macron Touch: Can the new French President be Libya's Peacemaker?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Maduro's regime is a criminal dictatorship'

Read more

FOCUS

Kenyan authorities step up security amid Al-Shabaab threat

Read more

ENCORE!

Rock icons Midnight Oil on politics, passion and their long-awaited comeback

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Sleep tight beautiful boy': Charlie Gard's parents to take him off life support

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

South Africa's 'Guptaleaks': New website aims to reveal extent of 'state capture'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Building walls: French protesters block access to hotel migrant shelter

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Google parent company's profits hit by EU fine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Phelps flops in man v shark challenge

Read more

Americas

Nicaragua canal construction to begin in December

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-01-12

President Manuel Ortega said on Saturday that the construction of a massive inter-oceanic canal in Nicaragua that could significantly alter global trade would start at the end of 2014.

“The Nicaraguan government and HKND Group are pleased to confirm that canal construction work will begin as planned in December 2014,” Ortega announced alongside Chinese tycoon Wang Jing, whose group has secured the rights to dig and operate the waterway.

Ortega gave the Chinese group a concession to manage the future shipping channel for 50 years, with the possibility to renew the contract for another 50.

The massive 30-billion-euro project would connect the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and rival the century-old Panama canal.

The Panama canal is currently building a new lane of traffic to double its capacity, but the expansion is running behind schedule.

Nicaraguan authorities have said that besides the future waterway, their project would include an oil pipeline, an overland route, two deepwater ports, two airports and duty-free zones.

Nicaraguan legislators in June approved granting Wang Jing the canal concession, and in December the Supreme Court in Managua said the project did not violate the constitution.

Opponents say the project is not financially feasible and have raised concerns about displacing indigenous groups and damage to the environment.

Saturday’s announcement appeared to contradict recent government statements that construction would be delayed until 2015.

One week ago, Manuel Coronel Kautz, president of the canal authority, told a national newspaper that digging would not start on time because the canal’s path remained undefined.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP)

Date created : 2014-01-12

COMMENT(S)