We Don't Need No Stinkin' Questions...about the #Nicaragua Canal

posted Aug 15, 2013, 6:22 PM by Peter Joseph Moons   [ updated Aug 15, 2013, 6:24 PM ]
We Don't Need No Stinkin' Questions...about the #Nicaragua Canal

August 15, 2013

Comments by Peter Joseph Moons

     Some things just do not sound right about the proposed canal that will slice through Nicaragua.  An insightful article makes some very interesting accusations.  First, the canal's estimated cost of $40 Billion USD is likely low-balled.  And why so?  Likely, this cost would appear more 'sellable' to outside investors as well, the Nicaraguan Congress, and the NIcaraguan people.  A higher amount, such as in the hundreds of billions, would likely be too shocking to fathom, considering the GDP of the country is only $7.6B.  This GDP is one of the lowest in Central America, even lower than El Salvador and Honduras.  In this respect, $40B is enormous, though, of course, the funds for the project would come from Foreign Direct Investment.  

     Another fact the Lynch surfaces is that this canal proposal is not new.  Nicaragua has a long history of toying with a canal; all of them have gotten no where.  However, as Clifford Lynch also mentions, there are new ships coming out that exceed the capacity of even the new third set of locks in the Panama Canal.  This point is very curious in and of itself: The people and government of Panama decided to enlarge their nearly 100 year old canal and when complete, the new locks will already be obsolete.  Maersk's new ships, the Triple E, will be "[f]our-hundred metres long, 59 metres wide and 73 metres high" -- enormous, and wider than the new locks in Panama's canal.  If Nicaragua's canal is big enough to accommodate these leviathans, then they will have the market cornered for Asia to Atlantic shipping routes.

Maersk's Triple E Ship

     The proposed waterway, though, may not even be completely 'wet:' the canal may very well be a combination of ports connected by waterway and railroad.  While the world's largest ships may not cross the isthmus of Central America, though  they will be on the high seas.  So a new question to ask is: Does the HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company even know the Triple E will be sailing in the next two years?

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