Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Group (HKND) has hired BMT Asia Pacific and BMT ARGOSS to conduct a series of marine and port assessments for its planned Nicaragua Canal project.
The BMT Group subsidiaries will help develop and validate the $50bn Canal’s design and operations, using a structured framework.
“Our study will seek to articulate a solution that minimises canal excavation while ensuring adequate canal capacity and safety,” said Dr Richard D Colwill, managing director of BMT Asia Pacific.
“A crucial part of that solution involves sophisticated navigation and transport simulation, which will set the basis for identifying a design that balances excavation CAPEX with operational safety, efficiency and capacity.”
The Canal’s proposed dimensions are 172 miles in length, between 230 to 520 metres wide and 27.6 metres deep. HKND said in November that HKND Group it will begin construction of the Canal by the end of 2016, following the approval of environmental permits from the local government.
BMT’s own Rembrandt navigation simulator will be used to simulate potential marine constraints, which will allow the company to identify measures to mitigate difficulties and optimise operations, said Captain Paul Morter of BMT ARGOSS.
BMT will also asses the canal’s Pacific and Caribbean ocean ports and help HKND assess the Canal’s competitive position in the Central American region.
“The Nicaragua Canal system will see a large variety of vessels and wide range of vessel movements along the canal, within the inland ports, and between canal, port and ocean approaches. These activities occur with differing metocean conditions, transit speeds/directions, and transit modes, etc,” K W Pang, HKND’s executive director said.
“Recognising this complexity, we are seeking to access BMT’s global network of subject matter experts to assemble a highly capable, technical team to address the Canal’s marine safety and traffic challenges from all angles.”
British consultancy firm ERM has completed the the environmental and social impact assessment for the project.