Nicaragua will have to provide Costa Rica with more information on the potential environmental impact that the proposed USD 50 billion Nicaragua Grand Canal could have on the San Juan river, southern bank of which is Costa Rican territory, Reuters reported Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera as saying.
The project includes dredging of the Lake Nicaragua, which the Costa Rican government fears could lead to sedimentation in the San Juan.
President Solis said that Costa Rica had already asked Nicaragua of their plans to prevent sedimentation in the San Juan, but had received no reply at the time.
Solis also said that the only point of concern for Costa Rica was the Canal’s potential environmental impact on the country.
Projected to rival the neighbouring Panama Canal, the Nicaragua Grand Canal is a proposed 172-mile waterway, 230 to 520 metres wide and 27.6 metres deep.
A UK-based consultancy Environmental Resources Management Ltd. (ERM) delivered the social and environmental study on the impact of the proposed Canal last week.
ERM did not disclose any of its findings, only saying that the study revealed potential challenges the Nicaraguan government and the contractor – the Hong Kong-based HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co Ltd (HKND Group) – could face.
The completion of the study is a first significant development within the project since the groundbreaking ceremony organised back in December.
The project is expected to be completed in five years with the Canal becoming operational by 2020. According to HKDN Group, the Canal project will include 6 sub projects: the Canal (including locks), 2 ports, a free trade zone, holiday resorts, an international airport and several roads. In addition, there will be construction of a power station, cement factory, steel factory and other related facilities.
World Maritime News Staff