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

People & Company News

Tugboat Capsizes Near 106th Bridge, Chicago

The Coast Guard informs it is responding to the capsize of a tug on the Calumet River near the 106th St. Bridge in Chicago, in which the two crew members were able

Oceanteam Focuses on Mexico Strategy

Oceanteam Shipping ASA releases its Q2 2014 financial report, with extracts as follows: The company says it saw, with its early focus on Mexico, a long term

HAL & Kelly Clark in ‘Attorneys Who Matter’ List Again

The Ethisphere Institute, the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, recognized Holland America Line and Seabourn’s

Contracts

Oceanteam Focuses on Mexico Strategy

Oceanteam Shipping ASA releases its Q2 2014 financial report, with extracts as follows: The company says it saw, with its early focus on Mexico, a long term

Wärtsilä Signs Harvey Gulf OSV Maintenance Agreement

Wärtsilä says it has signed a long-term Technical Management Agreement with Harvey Gulf International Marine LLC (Harvey Gulf). This five-year agreement covers

Latest Ocean-Going Shipbuilding Orders

Clarkson Hellas notes in its latest 'S&P Weekly Bulletin' shipbuilding orders placed in the dry bulk, tankship, gas carrier and containership sectors, as follows: Dry

Ports

Big Increase in Port of Houston Steel Cargoes

More steel moved across the docks in July than any month since 2008, Executive Director Roger Guenther reported at the recent meeting of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority.

Storm Surge Halts Vessel Operations at Long Beach

Two cargo terminals at the Port of Long Beach announced Wednesday, Aug. 27, that they were suspending vessel operations for the day because 10- to 15-foot high

Port of New Orleans Sponsors Agricultural Summit

The Port of New Orleans has signed on as a sponsor for the 9th annual Oilseed & Grain Trade Summit, taking place here October 7-9, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans.

Finance

Oceanteam Focuses on Mexico Strategy

Oceanteam Shipping ASA releases its Q2 2014 financial report, with extracts as follows: The company says it saw, with its early focus on Mexico, a long term

ARENA Supporting Bright Ideas in Solar R&D

The Australian Government today announced $21.5 million funding for 12 cutting edge R&D projects that will keep Australia at the forefront of solar research.

Big Increase in Port of Houston Steel Cargoes

More steel moved across the docks in July than any month since 2008, Executive Director Roger Guenther reported at the recent meeting of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority.

People in the News

ESG Replicates Historic Schooner 'Columbia'

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. (ESG) informs that a steel hull replica of the historic Gloucester Fishing Schooner COLUMBA has been launched at its Panama City,

Governors Write Obama for Mississippi River Funding

Governors seek President Obama’s support for upper Mississippi River commercial navigation locks and ecosystem The Governors of the five Upper Mississippi River States of Illinois,

Panama Canal Opens 2nd Maintenance Congress

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) opens today the Second International Maintenance Congress with the participation of 26 international and six local experts to promote

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
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: 0.1215 sec (8 req/sec)