China’s HKND Group has announced that it will start the Nicaragua canal project by the end of 2016, following the approval of environmental permits from the local government, China Daily has reported.
The company said it will first start preliminary work for Brito Port in the southwestern coastal city of Brito at the end of this year.
“This is a milestone for the development of the project, and we are pleased that the project can now move forward with full speed and with the support from many sectors of the country,” said Bill Wild, the chief project adviser of HKND.
British consultancy firm ERM, which completed the the environmental and social impact assessment for the project, said the project does have impacts, both environmentally and socially, but the positive benefits of the project will exceed the negative ones.
According to Pang Kwok Wai, executive vice-president of HKND Group, the total cost of the project is likely to be lower than the projected $50bn due to the decline in oil prices.