AFP: Australian company will conduct geological studies of Canal of Nicaragua
Photograph: ELMER MARTINEZ / AFP
Managua, 19th of August (AFP) The international geological and resource consultancy CSA Global of Australia will conduct an aerial geological survey of the canal route proposed by the Chinese concessionaire HKND to build an interoceanic canal in Nicaragua, and will invest 50 billion dollars, the company said.
The surveys, which will begin in September and conclude by March 2016, will allow the Chinese company to acquire information about the geological characteristics of the project for designing the works, HKND indicated in a statement.
The contract was signed on Wednesday between the representatives of both companies in Hong Kong, said the statement.
The agreement establishes that the Australian consultancy company will carry out "aerial mapping of topography, photography and geophysical and geological data," said the statement.
"The survey will cover an area of 10 kilometers wide along the 276km proposed route,” of the canal, which will link the Atlantic and the Pacific of Nicaragua, the statement said.
They will also conduct a geological examination of 2km-wide circumference along the shoreline of Lake Nicaragua, the second largest fresh water source in Latin America, where the canal will pass through.
"Remote sensing data will be acquired by fixed wing aircraft flying grid patterns over the defined route", and then "will be formatted, processed and interpreted by experts to produce high resolution mapping for 3D topography", said the statement.
The Nicaraguan government granted in June 2013 to HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co. Ltd (HKND), based in Hong Kong, the rights to design and operate a canal for a period of 50 years renewable for a similar term.
The auxiliary works of the project started last December with the construction of several roads in the area of the Brito river mouth, in the Pacific of south Nicaragua, where HKND plans to build a port to ensure the entry of heavy machinery.
HKND plans to open the route through the Pacific and Caribbean of south Nicaragua, passing through the Lake Nicaragua.
Last June, HKND handed to the Nicaraguan government the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of the project, but its content has not yet been published.