The Panama Canal, which has enjoyed full control on the passage of ships between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, is about to be faced with a rival as plans for a new shipping canal across Nicaragua gain momentum.
Namely, a Nicaraguan committee composed of government officials, businessmen and academics gave the green light on Monday to a 278 km route that will span from the mouth of the Brito river on the Pacific side to the Punto Gorda river on the Caribbean, writes Reuters.
The $40 billion project would be carried out by Hong Kong-based HKND group and is expected to become operational by 2020.
The project had been considered impossible, however the key investor claims that he has the technology that will enable its execution.
The canal would be between 230 metres and 520 metres wide and 27.6 metres deep, which would allow it to handle bigger ships than the Panama Canal.
The project is set to commence by December, once the necessary environmental and social impact studies are done.
If the project goes ahead it would pave the way for the country’s economic recovery bringing in numerous job opportunities.
World Maritime News, July 9th, 2014; Image: acs-aec