Prensa Latina: The Canal concessionaire is committed to protecting Lake Nicaragua
Managua, June 22 (Prensa Latina). The Chinese company HKND Group, concessionaire of the Nicaragua Interoceanic Grand Canal project, reaffirmed in an interview published today its commitment to protect Lake Cocibolca, the largest lake in Central America.
The waterway, which will connect the Atlantic and the Pacific, will be 278 kilometers long, of which 105 km will go through the lake, according to the official data.
"The lake is one of the biggest concerns of people. We are confident and committed not to affect it, but to protect it," said the Chief Project Advisor of HKND, Bill Wild.
Concerning the water to be used in the Canal, he mentioned that they will contain the liquid “flowing towards the Caribbean through the Punta Gorda River. Furthermore, thanks to the water saving basins located at the locks, the Cocibolca water level will not be affected".
The experts also took into account the annual fluctuations of the lake level in different seasons to ensure the extra amount of water that may be required by the operations of the waterway.
On the other hand, we have several design proposals to prevent salinity, but it will not be until we have the final design that we will choose the best option, said the specialist during a dialogue published on the website of El Nuevo Diario.
Regarding the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, submitted on May 31 to the Government, Wild said that the waterway will comply with the international standards set forth in the Equator Principles statement.
In relation to the biggest environmental challenge found in the assessment, he mentioned that "we must strive to handle the excavation appropriately near the Punta Gorda River Basin, an area that is always raining but we know what the challenges are".
Hence they are preparing management plans to deal with these challenges, although at a technical level, he stated, they pose no real risks to the project.
The total cost of the mega-work is valued at 50 billion dollars and the construction is expected to be completed within five years.