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Old October 1st, 2006, 03:05 AM   #1
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The Nicaragua Canal

Nicaragua plans its own Panama Canal

NICARAGUA’S Canal dreams

NICARAGUA will reveal a $20bn (£11.2bn, E16bn) plan this week to build a canal linking the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, which would compete with the near 100-year-old Panama Canal.

Full story here.
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Old October 1st, 2006, 03:34 AM   #2
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That'd be awesome !!!! Like the article says: "it would bring unprecendented economic boom to the area"
How long is the stretch of land from the pacific to the atlantic on the Nicaraguan side ?? And how High would the ships have to be raised in order to do the crossing ???
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Old October 1st, 2006, 04:08 AM   #3
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Hmm i dont even know how long it is... but Here is a nicaraguan map..
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Old October 1st, 2006, 04:15 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Aero_Tacuba View Post
That'd be awesome !!!! Like the article says: "it would bring unprecendented economic boom to the area"
Yes, it's awesome!

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Originally Posted by Aero_Tacuba View Post
How long is the stretch of land from the pacific to the atlantic on the Nicaraguan side ??
The Rivas Isthmus, between the Pacific Ocean and Lake Nicaragua is only 13 miles wide. The Isthmus between the lake and the Caribbean is between 60 to 90 miles wide. There are navigable rivers, however, including the San Juan river which runs from the lake to the Atlantic ocean and the Escondido river which is navigable 40 miles inland. We will know the details soon.

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And how High would the ships have to be raised in order to do the crossing ???
The ships would have to be raised only a few meters since Lake Nicaragua, which is part of the route, is only 31 meters above sea level. It will depend on what river route is planned though, so we will see.
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Last edited by Neutral!; October 1st, 2006 at 04:20 AM.
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Old October 1st, 2006, 11:36 AM   #5
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Interesting project.
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Old October 1st, 2006, 09:30 PM   #6
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I know this plan has been around since the beginning of the Panama Canal, but I just worry about the environmental impact on Lake Nicaragua and eastern Nicaragua. If it can be done as sustainably as possible then it would be good a project. Maybe set aside land for habitat protection before they build anything. It looks if it is built then that town Bluefields on the Caribbean would get a lot growth.
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Old October 1st, 2006, 09:48 PM   #7
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Looks like a great idea, but $20 billion? Who's going to pay for this? Nicaragua's GDP is only $5 billion.
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Old October 1st, 2006, 10:18 PM   #8
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USA, France, Canada, Japan, Spain, Nicaragua,, hmm and some others countries..
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Old October 1st, 2006, 11:01 PM   #9
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...I just worry about the environmental impact on Lake Nicaragua and eastern Nicaragua. If it can be done as sustainably as possible then it would be good a project. Maybe set aside land for habitat protection before they build anything. It looks if it is built then that town Bluefields on the Caribbean would get a lot growth.
I was initially very concerned with the environmental impact as well. However, I am not as concerned after reading that 25% of the territory is to be reforested in order to help generate water needed to run the canal. The Escondido & Oyate river route, if used, is through deforested grazing lands so the reforestation would be a boon.

I don't know about the impact on the lake though, but hopefully the canal can be built and run as sustainably as possible like you have mentioned. It should be noted that the head of the Canal planning committee is the Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources so hopefully that is a positive sign.
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 04:59 AM   #10
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Uhh, I would love to see Nicaragua's economy boom but...Lake Nicaragua is already heavily polluted, "crape lake" as my mom calls it! And, I wanted to ask, are they going to use the San Juan River? Because that's a natural beauty and a very popular tourist attraction.
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 06:07 AM   #11
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Uhh, I would love to see Nicaragua's economy boom but...Lake Nicaragua is already heavily polluted, "crape lake" as my mom calls it!
I think your mom meant Lake Managua. That lake is really polluted because the raw sewage form Managua City goes there. They are trying to clean it up though.

Lake Nicaragua is much less polluted. It's major pollutant is Granada and nearby towns. I think that if they build the canal they should allot some moneys to build sewage treatment plants and help keep the lake pollution-free. The economic boom is a must though because the country is really poor and with money the government can invest on education, protection of the environment, etc.

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And, I wanted to ask, are they going to use the San Juan River? Because that's a natural beauty and a very popular tourist attraction.
I don't think they are. I've been following the news regarding this canal for some time and I read somewhere that the San Juan river route is the most difficult due to possible conflicts with the southern neighbor and also becuase the river carries too much silt which would mean more dredging.
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 06:17 AM   #12
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Tomorrow, October 2nd the authorities should provide the full details.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 12:29 AM   #13
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Oh yeah, sorry, she did mean Lake Managua. So any news?
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Old October 4th, 2006, 05:57 AM   #14
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Trade waterway: $20bn and 10 years to build - a giant rival for Panama canal
Nicaragua plans vast channel for largest ships Opponents cite green issues and lack of demand
John Vidal Environment editor
4 October 2006
The Guardian

Nicaragua, one of the poorest countries in Latin America, plans to construct a $20bn rival to the Panama canal to enable the largest tankers and container ships in the world to pass between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

The mega-engineering project is expected to take more than 10 years to build but could redraw the map of world trade by opening the east coast of North America, Europe and Brazil to large-scale sea traffic from burgeoning Pacific rim countries including China, and South Korea.

The new route would cut 500 miles - or at least a day - off the route between California and New York, and could considerably shorten and cheapen the journey from China to Europe for large ships.

Yesterday's formal announcement of what is known as the Grand Inter-Oceanic Nicaragua Canal was greeted with trepidation by nearby Panama, which is also planning to widen its canal. It fears that its main source of income will be seriously affected if Nicaragua builds a rival.

If built, the Nicaraguan canal would allow 250,000-tonne tankers and container ships to pass through the isthmus that divides the two oceans, compared with the Panama canal's 79,000-tonne boats. Even if an expected $5bn (pounds 2.6bn) upgrade of the Panama canal goes ahead, it is expected to only accommodate 120,000-tonne boats.

However, analysts and politicians are divided over whether there is enough traffic for two major canals in the region, despite a great increase in world trade over the last decade.

The Nicaraguan president, Enrique Bolanos, said at the weekend that there is room for two major canals. "There's a lot of business to share. We know that for every 100 ships that come to the Americas, only seven use the Panama canal. If a Nicaraguan canal were built, it would bring an economic effervescence never seen before in central America," he said.

But a spokesman for the Panama Canal Authority, the semi-independent body that runs the Panama canal, said there was insufficient ship traffic to support both a widened Panama canal and a canal through Nicaragua. "If the widening goes forward, [the Nicaraguan project] is not feasible," he said. "Our analysis shows that if our project is approved, there would not be enough demand to pay for the two, and they would have to have a cost structure much higher than ours."

The project, which has been backed vigorously by Mr Bolanos, has been under active consideration for at least a decade, but has been held up by financial negotiations. Nicaragua, whose GDP is only 5% of the expected cost of the venture, is expected to have to link up with major global companies, including Chinese and Japanese banks which stand to gain the most by exporting more easily to the west.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 06:43 AM   #15
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I'm no expert on canals but someone needs to build one that doesn't require locks like the Suez canal. If I'm not mistaken the Suez canal has no locks to speak of.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 01:40 PM   #16
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The Suez is entirely at sea level, no locks. Not sure how likely this new canal is to get built. It sounds a little cheap...
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Old October 4th, 2006, 01:55 PM   #17
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I'm all for it now, look at Panama City, it has an amazing skyline with big corporations located in Panama. If you look at San Jose, Manague, San Salvador, Tegucigalpa or Guatemala City, it looks bland.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 06:55 PM   #18
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Invasive species from the underside of transoceanic ships is another environmental impact that Nicaragua would have to be aware of before they start building. Lake Nicaragua, its biodiversity, would definitely be under threat from more aggressive non-native species if a canal is constructed. Here's two articles, one on Panama and one on the Great Lakes.

Panama Canal and invasive species
http://morayeel.louisiana.edu/SeaweedsLab/Wysor/Fulbright'97.html

Great Lakes and fighting invasive species
http://detnews.com/2005/project/0508/14/Z10-275421.htm
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Old October 7th, 2006, 09:24 AM   #19
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Website

For full details of the Nicaragua Canal go to the webiste (in Spanish):
www.grancanal.gob.ni

Maps of the route


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Old October 7th, 2006, 02:15 PM   #20
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So if this does get built what are the likely commercial impacts on the Panama Canal.
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