BMT Wins Work on Optimizing Nicaragua Canal Design

BMT Asia Pacific and BMT ARGOSS, subsidiaries of BMT Group Ltd, have been appointed by Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Group (HKND) to undertake a series of marine and port assessments for the USD 50-billion Nicaragua Canal project.

Under the deal, BMT will assist the development and validation of the Canal’s design and operations through a structured framework.

“Our Study will seek to articulate a solution that minimises canal excavation while ensuring adequate canal capacity and safety,” comments Dr Richard D Colwill, Managing Director at BMT Asia Pacific.

“A crucial part of that solution involves sophisticated navigation and transport simulation, which will set the basis for identifying a design that balances excavation CAPEX with operational safety, efficiency and capacity.”

Navigation simulators recreate typical scenarios that a ship master would experience and BMT plans to use its proprietary simulator REMBRANDT for the purpose.

“Through REMBRANDT BMT will provide early and decisive insight on potential marine constraints, enabling us to identify appropriate mitigation and optimisation measures – be it physical or operational in nature,” Captain Paul Morter of BMT ARGOSS explains.

In addition to carrying out operational assessments, BMT will also update the business case for the Canal’s Pacific and Caribbean ocean ports. Central America is one of the most important corridors of global shipping and BMT will support HKND in identifying the port’s potential competitive positioning along this key artery of global trade.

K W Pang, Executive Director at HKND adds: “The Nicaragua Canal system will see a large variety of vessels and wide range of vessel movements along the canal, within the inland ports, and between canal, port and ocean approaches. These activities occur with differing metocean conditions, transit speeds/directions, and transit modes, etc.

Recognising this complexity, we are seeking to access BMT’s global network of subject matter experts to assemble a highly capable, technical team to address the Canal’s marine safety and traffic challenges from all angles.”

The beginning of the key construction stage of the canal project has been postponed until late 2016.

As informed, HKND needs more time to fine-tune the design of the project.

The construction was expected to start this year and was expected to completed in five years with the Canal becoming operational by 2020.

Nicaragua Grand Canal is a proposed 172-mile waterway, 230 to 520 metres wide and 27.6 metres deep, making it longer, wider and deeper than the 51-mile Panama Canal to the south.

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