Nicaragua seeks EU support on Canal construction

Nicaragua’s Secretary for National Policy, Paul Oquist has submitted the project for construction of inter-oceanic Nicaragua Grand Canal, to the institutions of the European Union.

Nicaragua is seeking both financial and political support from the EU members, as it struggles to emerge from poverty and achieve economic independence.

According to Oquist, the move is aimed at seeking technological expertise in building the canal from countries like the Netherlands and Denmark during the 2015-2020 construction period, especially with respect to meeting high environmental and social responsibility standards, according to local media report.

Nicaraguan Ambassador in Brussels, Lautaro Sandino, said that the project has been presented to the EU partners as the Union pushes projects aimed at boosting international trade development cooperation.

In August 2014, Oquist 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.

Tenders for major infrastructural projects are expected to be launched in September, according to Oquist, who is also the Executive Secretary of the Commission of the Nicaraguan Grand Interoceanic Canal.

The construction of the a 172-mile waterway canal, three times longer than the Panama Canal, started on December 22.

The construction is being carried out  by Hong Kong-based HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co Ltd (HKND Group).

The commencement was marked by starting works on a road at the mouth of the Brito River, needed for heavy machinery to access the site where the Canal’s Pacific coast port will be built.

This USD 50 billion project is expected to be completed by 2020.

Nicaraguans have repeatedly expressed their dissatisfaction with the canal project amid fears over the effect of the canal to local freshwater resources and the environment.

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