Work to begin on 180-mile "Nicaragua Canal" to rival Panama


#1

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#2

Other than being a way to scam a shadey government out of money why do this? Is the panama canal that congested?

Why would ships not want to go through panama or is it a case of this canal being built for ships too large to fit through?


#3

A Man. A Plan. A Canal. NICARAGUA.
.. just doesn't roll off the tongue.
A Man. A Plan. A Canal. Rancho Cucamonga! !!!!


#4

The panama canal is indeed getting too small/shallow for the super large container-ships built in the last decade.


#5

This looks like en environmental disaster waiting to happen. As the article notes, it may be necessary to dam certain rivers so the water level of Lake Nicaragua can be raised enough to permit deep-draft container ships, which could then change the hydrology of other rivers in the area.
Besides, with a super-huge canal cutting through from the Gulf of Mexico to a freshwater, biologically diverse lake, and on out to the Pacific, what could possibly go wrong?

Edit: The article hints at the involvement of the Chinese in financing this deal, and given that the USA and Panama have some sweet deal to allow US military ships through the canal in case of war (that's an assumption, not a fact), what's the chance that this is China's way of assuring that they've got a similar method of transport between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans?


#6

Isn't the Panama Canal undergoing upgrades, building a second set of bigger locks?

This seems like a poorly thought out plan no matter how you look at it. I can see why possessing such a canal would seem like a huge money maker, but this is like putting a square peg in a round hole. Someone else is already doing it better than you ever will.


#7

Find out what the competitors are charging in terms of tolls, and charge slightly less. I don't see why the existence of the Panama canal means the Nicaraguan canal won't be able to earn a profit.


#8

Because the Nicaraguan one will be three times as long and has to navigate around more elevation changes.

I have no doubt that once it's built it could be profitable, but the costs to build it are going to be staggering and will probably obliterate involved corporations when problems develop.


#9

All of that could be factored into the pricing. My argument is that people asking questions like 'does the world need a Nicaraguan canal' are missing the point. It's not at all about what the world needs. It's about whether Nicaragua, and investors in this venture, can expect a reasonable rate of return in creating a competing service to the Panama one. If they can't, I assume they won't be able to raise the $40 bn to even start construction.

"If Coke exists and they can produce enough for everyone, why sell Pepsi?" Because the owners of Pepsi want to make money, obviously.


#10

Except why does China need in the Atlantic? The US has the problem of having ports on both oceans. China does not.


#11

Global reach, global power, as they say in the US Chair Force. Why not have an easy avenue to getting to that side of the world in order to project naval power, especially when your largest competitor has (assumption) far better ties to the only extant canal of such kind?


#12

Transport by ship is far cheaper than by rail or truck.


#13

Pooh right. Exports to everyone. Silly me. Forgot that.


#14

Great story about the canal that was originally slated for Nicaragua, but then went to Panama, in this awesome book:


#15

William Nelson Cromwell would be annoyed.


#16

Does this mean Costa Rica will now be an island?


#17

I'm reminded of Walker.


#18

Lake Nicaragua is a freshwater lake... with sharks. This can't be good.


#19

Post-Panamax (as they call ships bigger than the Panama Canal can take) ships have been built since the late 1980's.


#20

It's not like there isn't a lake in the middle of the Panama canal too...

Of course construction of the Panama canal bankruped all of the original investors and had to be bailed out by the government. I fully expect a repeat performance on a Nicaragua canal if it ever gets that far.