Chinese Billionaire Backs Nicaragua Canal Plan

Posted by George Backwell
Monday, May 05, 2014
Panama Canal: File image

Wang Jing, the enigmatic businessman behind Nicaragua's $50 billion Interoceanic Grand Canal, shrugs off scepticism about how a little-known entrepreneur can be driving a huge transcontinental project, insisting he's not an agent of the Beijing government. "I know you don't believe me," said Wang, who reckons that he's forked-out about $100 million in canal preparation work, and is burning as much as $10 million a month on the project.

Wang grabbed global headlines last June when he sealed a controversial no-bid 50-year renewable concession from Nicaragua's Sandinista government to develop the $50 billion canal to rival Panama's, and related facilities.

Nicaragua preparation is on schedule, Wang said. In January, he and President Daniel Ortega issued a joint statement to address what Wang described as "misleading reports" that the start of construction would be delayed.

The proposed scope is enormous, comprising construction of a waterway that may extend 130 miles (210 km), depending on the route selected, along with two ports, a railway, oil pipeline, and an international airport.

The canal would be longer, deeper and wider than the Panama Canal, about 500 miles (800 km) to the southeast.

The scale of the project has led some to suggest it could only be viable with the backing of the Chinese government, which might see it as a geopolitical play to balance U.S. influence in Central America.

"I can't imagine (Wang) would have gone forward without at least coordinating with the Chinese government," said R Evan Ellis, assistant professor for Hemispheric Defense Studies at National Defense University in Washington. "Big Chinese companies just don't parachute down into Latin America."

The project, Ellis estimates, may provide China with commercial leverage over key Latin American governments and local companies, which may prove crucial to guarantee trade routes and access to raw materials. "How the project ends will likely depend on the government of the People's Republic of China," he said.
 

Maritime Reporter October 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Australian Defence Minister Says Would Not Trust Submarine Firm to Build Canoe

Australia's defence minister has said he would not trust state-owned Australian Submarine Corp (ASC) "to build a canoe", fuelling expectations that most work in

Matson Raises Guam, Micronesia Rates

Matson, Inc., a U.S. carrier in the Pacific, announced today that Matson Navigation Company, Inc. will raise its rates for the company's Guam/Commonwealth of the

Norwegian Buys Ship from Princess Cruises

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announces fleet expansion for Oceania Cruises in 2016; Sirena to join sister ships Insignia, Regatta and Nautica   Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

Contracts

Fire Departments Choose Sea-Fire Systems

Metalcraft Marine's Firestorm high-speed, aluminum fireboat represents a new generation in vessel technology, especially when fitted with Sea-Fire H Series engineered fire suppression systems.

Russian Liftings for Western Options at 12-Year Low

By Gleb Gorodyankin MOSCOW, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Exports of Russian crude oil to Western markets are set to fall by almost a third in December and reach a 12-year

Overwhelming Support for ‘Hit the HMT Target!’

Today, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) applauded a “Dear Colleague” letter to the leadership of the Senate Committee on Appropriations that was signed by 22 senators,

Ports

Vacant Pier to Help Ease Long Beach Congestion

Pier S temporary depot to relocate empty containers for next five months    The Port of Long Beach expects a “Temporary Empty Container Depot” planned for a vacant

Vietnam Warship Visits Underscore Regional Tension

Vietnam on Tuesday showed off its two most powerful warships in the first-ever port call to the Philippines but an official said it was not trying to challenge

Vacant Pier at Long Beach Port to Ease Congestion

The Port of Long Beach expects a “Temporary Empty Container Depot” planned for a vacant pier on Terminal Island to be open and operating in December, which will

Finance

Matson Raises Guam, Micronesia Rates

Matson, Inc., a U.S. carrier in the Pacific, announced today that Matson Navigation Company, Inc. will raise its rates for the company's Guam/Commonwealth of the

Shipbuilding Regulations: Cents and Sensibility

Addressing the Jones Act is just one aspect of an increasingly complicated boatbuilding environment. Stovepiped, poorly conceived regulations is another. The sting of the recession is fading,

Ship Broker Clarkson Looks to Acquire Platou

Top ship broker Clarkson is seeking to acquire Norwegian brokerage and investment bank RS Platou for 281.2 million pounds ($441 million) in a deal that would create

People in the News

Vietnam Warship Visits Underscore Regional Tension

Vietnam on Tuesday showed off its two most powerful warships in the first-ever port call to the Philippines but an official said it was not trying to challenge

Frontline Disappoints with Deeper 3Q Loss

Frontline, once the world's biggest crude oil tanker company, reported a bigger than expected third-quarter loss on Tuesday and said it is still considering options

Greece Deploys Frigate to Stricken Rescue Ship

Greece has sent a frigate to rescue a container ship believed to carrying hundreds of undocumented migrants and in distress off its southern island of Crete, the Greek coastguard said on Tuesday.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Salvage Ship Repair Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1445 sec (7 req/sec)