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EFE: About 242 experts announce their support for the Nicaragua Canal Project 2015-12-12 13:56

Managua, December 10 (EFE).- A group of 242 Nicaraguan academics, scientists and researchers announced today their support for the Nicaragua Interoceanic Canal Project, which aims to connect the Pacific Ocean with the Caribbean Sea through a 276-kilometer waterway.

The announcement was made by an extensive resolution, which was read this Thursday in front of the media of the government, after a two-day meeting with representatives from the Chinese concessionaire HKND Group and the Nicaragua Interoceanic Grand Canal Commission.

"We consider that the actions taken so far regarding the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (by HKND), in its regional initial component, meet the required technical and scientific international standards," said the geologist William Martínez, through media of the government.

The Commission’s spokesman, Telémaco Talavera, thanked them for the support and recalled that the project not only addresses environmental issues but also social issues, which is why it is part of the National Development Plan.

The Nicaraguan government expects a 50 billion dollar investment of HKND in the canal over five years, which will provide 50,000 direct jobs and about 200,000 indirect ones, which should be enough to double the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The professionals set the goal to "positively debate, analyze and collaborate with (...) the project's good progress", and to "join scientific efforts" with other associations to drive the work.

They also undertook to organize an international scientific forum about the canal during the first two months of 2016.

"HKND is committed to dealing in a transparent way with the information that has been gathered so far, so that an analysis by technicians, scientists and academics is possible," said the Chief Project Advisor of the Asian firm HKND, Bill Wild.

HKND’s project consists of building a canal three times larger than the Panama Canal, to the south of Nicaragua, at 276 kilometers long, 230 to 280 meters wide and 26.9 to 30.2 meters deep.

It includes two ports, an airport, two artificial lakes, two locks, a free trade zone and tourist resorts.

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Original link: http://www.eldiario.es/economia/expertos-anuncian-apoyo-proyecto-Nicaragua_0_461254904.html