EFE: HKND Will Continue with the Nicaragua Canal Provided that the Final Net Impact is Positive
Managua, Oct. 26 (EFE).- The Chief Project Advisor of HKND Group, the Australian Bill Wild, today assured that the "only way" that the Chinese firm will continue with the interoceanic canal project in Nicaragua is guaranteeing that the final net impact on the environment and society "is positive".
"HKND Group and its Chairman, Wang Jing, will not build an interoceanic canal in Nicaragua unless we are able to guarantee that the final net impact on the environment and society is positive, after implementing the mitigation works recommended by the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) conducted by the British firm ERM (Environmental Resources Management)," Wild said in a written statement.
In this sense, the Chinese firm said that the project is at the stage of approving the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of ERM, which confirms that the mitigation works "are possible", therefore saying that "the project is fully and certainly viable".
Moreover, HKND declared itself on the side of Pope Francisco and the publication of his environmental encyclical, "Laudato si", indicating that the Chinese company shares, understands and forms part of his position.
"We will never be the cause of what His Holiness warns, such as ‘symptoms of sickness in the water, in the air and in all forms of life’ because ‘we ourselves are dust of the earth'," he said.
Wild pointed out that one of the major works to be carried out in order to ensure water for human consumption and the specific needs of the Canal is the construction of the dams in the eastern part of the Canal thus forming two artificial lakes "that will preserve water resources which are currently being lost in the Caribbean Sea".
These artificial lakes will facilitate the accumulation of water and its diversion westward into Lake Nicaragua, and they will be key to fully meet the demand of water for the Canal, Wild said.
The HKND advisor explained that this production of water in Nicaragua will also increase the availability of this vital liquid in Central America.
"We should remember that nowadays in Nicaragua water resources are not being preserved; this will be the first time and these new additional water resources can also be used for the sustainable development of the country and the region, and to alleviate local droughts caused by El Niño and by the global climate change," he added.
Wild assured that the company's intentions "are very clear" and have scientific support to implement, to protect and improve the environment and the living conditions of the population.
He said that a mega-project of this magnitude requires serious studies, with high international standards and transparency, and "care has been taken to contract and partner with the best companies in the world, each one in their specialty".
On the other hand, he said that once the ESIA is approved, they will conduct more in-depth studies on topology, geology, hydrology and archeology of the route, with the aim of making a final reference design for the construction of the project.
"This reference design will likely have slight difference to the conceptual design and we need to verify again the seismic, water balance and salt intrusion effects to the Canal before submitting the design to the Government for construction permits prior to the commencement of the major work," he said.
The canal project, which includes "sub-projects" such as roads, two ports, an airport, a free trade zone and resorts, will cost around 50 billion USD, according to calculations of the concessionaire.