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Nicaragua awards canal concession to HK firm

Nicaragua awards canal concession to HK firm
Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega awarded a 100-year concession to build an interoceanic canal in the across the country to Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal development Investment Co. Ltd (HKC), chaired by ceo Wang Jing. The bill detailing the contract-law has gone to Nicaragua’s National Assembly for ratification.

The contract law established payment to the Nicaraguan government of $10m per year during a 10-year period, tolls will be determined by HKC. Feasibility studies for the $40bn project will be finished by May 2014, said Ortega.  HKC will have to find funds from investors around the world to build the waterway, which is intended to compete with the Panama Canal. However, the international maritime industry is doubtful the project will be ever built due to its high cost.

President Ortega said recently that the canal would not go along the San Juan River as had been planned. He said it would be built farther north, through the waters of Lake Nicaragua. Local media reported that six possible routes were still considered and that there were a series of sub-projects such as the construction of two deep-sea ports on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, an oil pipe-line from one coast to another and the establishment of several economic free zones along the project.

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