Nicaragua has opted for Dutch know-how in construction of the country’s shipping canal project, which is believed would usher a new age for shippers, especially with respect to fuel savings.
Dr. Paul Oquist, a Nicaraguan Minister and an advisor to the President for the Nicaragua Canal project, has visited Deltares, an independent Dutch institute for applied research in the field of water, subsurface and infrastructure to talk about feasibility studies for the project.
Taking into account the complexity of the project, Deltares is contributing to feasibility studies of the plans, by identifying potential obstacles and possible solutions.
The ships passing through the new canal will have to overcome a height difference of approximately 31 metres via locks from the Atlantic Ocean through Lake Nicaragua to the Pacific.
The feasibility studies are expected to be finished before the end of this year.
Nicaragua is planning to build a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, like the Panama Canal.
The new canal will boost not only the Nicaraguan economy but also the global economy.
The growing world population and increasing prosperity in countries like India and China is fuelling demand for transport by water with very large bulk and container vessels.
In order to accommodate ever larger ships, the Panama Canal is now being widened.
But even when that job is completed, it will not be able to facilitate the largest container ships presently sailing our seas, let alone the vessels of the future.
An alternative may lie in the Nicaragua Canal, which will be between 230 metres and 520 metres wide and 27.6 metres deep, allowing it to handle bigger ships than the Panama Canal, and thus, adding up to the overall fuel efficiency per cargo unit.
Studies show that shippers would save bunker fuel consumption by up to 30% by opting for Nicaraguan route and cut the length of their trip by 6% compared with Panama and by 5.5% compared with Suez.
The project is set to commence by December, once the necessary environmental and social impact studies are done.
Press Release, August 1, 2014