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Nicaragua's canal:will the benefits outweigh the risks

News from Nicaragua | Saturday, 14 February 2015 |

Triple-E container ship under construction in South Korea. At 400 metres long, it is too large to pass through the Panama Canal

Triple-E container ship under construction in South Korea. At 400 metres long, it is too large to pass through the Panama Canal

On 22 December, the Nicaraguan government and Hong Kong Nicaragua Development Consortium (HKND), the company that holds the canal concession, held a symbolic event marking the beginning of construction of what will be one of the largest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in Latin America.

The Nicaraguan government argues that the canal is the only way to lift the country out of centuries of under-development and high levels of poverty, and that the canal will protect the environment nationally and globally.

Critics argue that the associated social, economic and environmental risks are too high a price to pay.

This briefing, updated February 2015, outlines the potential benefits and risks of this controversial 173 mile megaproject.


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