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The Interoceanic Canal: benefits and risks

News from Nicaragua | Friday, 1 April 2016 |

Is this project a way out of centuries old poverty and environmental destruction or is the potential risk too high a price to pay?

This updated NSC briefing provides an overview of this controversial project.

In June 2013, the Nicaraguan National Assembly granted a concession to the Hong Kong Nicaragua Development Company (HKND) to construct a 161-mile canal across Nicaragua at a cost of US$50bn.

If this project goes ahead, it will be the largest civil earthmoving project ever undertaken. It would not only transform global trade but also make Nicaragua a major global transport centre.

The Nicaraguan government argues that this is the only way to lift the country out of centuries of under-development and poverty, and that the Canal will potentially help to protect the environment nationally and globally.

Critics argue that the social, economic and environmental risks are too high a price to pay. Will the project be economically viable?

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