Aerial Survey Underway for Nicaragua's Panama Canal Alternative

The $50 billion canal project is expected to receive final survey reports by March 2016.

HKND Group (HKND) says Australia's\u00a0CSA Global\u00a0Monday kicked off the process of aerial surveying along the route of the proposed $50 billion\u00a0Nicaragua Grand Canal, World Maritime News reports.

John Murray, Senior Advisor at HKND says that the survey will result in baseline data to assist with detailed planning, adding that most of the data collection phase of the aerial survey process will be completed over the next few months, with the final survey products scheduled for delivery by March 2016.

The survey is reported to cover the entire proposed 276 km canal corridor, as well as the 2km wide circumference of Lake Nicaragua.

It was also noted that the survey will enable the assessment of geological risks including seismic and volcanic activities, tsunamis, landslides, slope stability, and liquefaction.\u00a0

"The Nicaragua Interoceanic Grand Canal project is of international significance and has the potential to economically transform Nicaragua and the region," said Jeff Elliot, CSA Global's Managing Director.

"CSA Global is very proud to be associated with such a visionary project. CSA Global's capabilities and experience are a good fit for the project's technical requirements."

Construction of the new canal had previously been expected to begin as early as 2014.

It is currently expected to begin some time in the first quarter of 2016, with the latest delays due to "new environmental mitigation measures."

"We and (Nicaragua president Daniel Ortega) have made the decision that all studies recommended by the environmental groups have to be undertaken,"\u00a0Paul Oquist, executive director of the Nicaragua Grand Canal Commission, said earlier this week.

"No stone will be left unturned in terms of the environmental elements."

The new canal aims to be an alternative to the existing Panama Canal, and if completed could well have significant implications for shipping and bunkering markets in the Americas.

In August, Hong Kong's\u00a0HKND\u00a0said it has the public backing of Nicaraguans for its plan to build the waterway.



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