Lonely Planet Writer

Chinese ready to begin work on Nicaraguan canal

Lake Nicaragua.
Lake Nicaragua. Image by danking56 / CC BY-SA 2.0

After months of environmental surveys, feasibility studies and protests from local communities, Nicaragua’s controversial canal project will begin construction in December. Work on the canal, which is being built by Hong Kong-based company HKND, was originally due to start in May 2014, but in January it was announced that the build would be delayed by a year. At the time, head of the canal authority, Manuel Coronel Kautz, revealed more time was needed to choose a route and properly assess the potential impact of the canal.

The route chosen will cut through Lake Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America. The Nicaraguan government has carried out several environmental impact studies amid protests by local communities around the lake and warnings from environmentalists who have raised concerns about the impact of damming rivers and moving large amounts of soil around the lake.

The canal is set to span 278km (172 miles) and will be longer, deeper and wider than the Panama Canal. Read more: bbc.com