Nicaragua's Mega-canal construction commences

Nicaragua's government and HKND Group, the Chinese firm concessionaire of the Grand Canal in Nicaragua, formally inaugurated the works of that waterway amid protests from farmers who will be affected by the Canal and environmental groups concerned.

The works will be inaugurated by a symbolic ceremony that will he held simultaneously in Managua and in the southern department of Rivas, between 17.00 and 19.00 local hours, said the HKND Group to the press.

According to Telémaco Talavera, Commission spokesman of Nicaragua's Grand Canal, President, Daniel Ortega, and Wang Jing, a Chinese entrepreneur and owner of HKND Group, are expected to lead the ceremony in Managua. 

Work will commence with the construction of access roads to excavation places and the construction of some facilities necessary to undertake the project, said an official.

El presidente de Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega y Wang Jing, presidente de HKND Group Foto por: AP Photo/Esteban Felix - See more at:
The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega and Wan Jing, president of the HKND Group. Photo: AP Photo

El presidente de Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega y Wang Jing, presidente de HKND Group Foto por: AP Photo/Esteban Felix - See more at:

The residents who will have their lands expropriated under the Canal's law, continued the protest this week that began last September, by sporadically blocking the public roads in at least two communities. Meanwhile, the government sent military and riot police to the area, but didn't detain any activists.

The start of construction of the canal also triggered the environmentalists' alarms, due to the absence of an environmental impact study and the fear that the work will cause serious harm to the Great Lake, the largest freshwater reservoir in Central America.

According to the HKND Group, the environmental impact studies of the work will be ready by March or April next year.

The waterway will be 278 kilometres long and between 230 and 520 meters wide and 30 meters deep, including a 105 kilometres stretch in the Great Lake of Nicaragua.

The concession to construct the Grand Canal of Nicaragua was awarded to HKND Group by the Government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, in June 2013.

Besides digging the canal, the HKND Group plans to build roads, two ports, an artificial lake, an airport, a resort, a free trade zone, steel mills and factories that will produce concrete.


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