Serious look at the canal project
We have seen a lot of speculation but little in the way of details on the Nicaragua canal project. That seems to have finally changed with a very long article in the Daily Mail.
It is not pro-canal per se and there are still unanswered questions but it tells us a lot about the project that seems to have been ignored by other media. In particular, it goes into the parts of the project that are not specifically the canal but related projects. It includes photos and a video.
After three days of discussion in June, the National Assembly controlled by Ortega's Sandinista party approved giving Beijing-based telecommunications CEO Wang Jing a 50-year renewable concession to build a canal more than three times the length of the Panama Canal, as well as tax-free side projects including ports on Nicaragua's Pacific and Atlantic coasts, an oil pipeline bisecting the country, a cargo railway, two free-trade zones and an international airport.
The article goes on to discuss the economics of the side-projects going as far as to say that they could be done without the canal itself and Wang Jing would get a lot of lucrative concessions. The pipeline and cargo railway might themselves be the biggest win. They become competition for Guatemala's plans for something similar. (Guatemala has just re-acquired the rights to its railroad right of way (see this RRDC article for details.)
While there is little left of the Guatemala infrastructure, already having the right of way is a big advantage. As Guatemala's re-acquisition was just completed this month, this could be a serious competitor for Wang Jung's project.