El 19 Digital: Nicaraguan Businessmen Satisfied with Progress of the Interoceanic Grand Canal
By: Pedro Ortega Ramírez
The directors of major business chambers of the country expressed their satisfaction towards the way that HKND Group is developing everything related to the Interoceanic Grand Canal Project, considering that the mega-project is being carried out responsibly and with the time required for its construction.
On Thursday, Mr. Bill Wild, chief advisor of HKND Group, the concessionaire of the project, had a meeting at a hotel in the capital city Managua, with the directors of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP) José Adán Aguerri and the American Chamber of Commerce in Nicaragua (AMCHAM) Roberto Sansón addressing issues related to the mega-project promoted by the Sandinista Government in alliance with various economic sectors of the country.
Participants of the meeting include Laureano Ortega Murillo from ProNicaragua; Rosendo Mayorga from Chamber of Commerce and Services of Nicaragua; Rodrigo Pereira from the Nicaraguan Chamber of Construction (CNC) and Ricardo Meléndez from Chamber of Urban Developers of Nicaragua (CADUR).
In the meeting, Wild informed them that they are working on the reference design, the design of the locks and studies on the excavation processes, for about 750 million cubic meters of earth.
Fair value payment
"The important thing for us and what the company have kept as the commitment is that the 6,800 families, which is about 27,000 people, by the time the negotiation process for land purchase begins, will have 3 alternatives: direct purchase of the land, the possibility of relocation and the third is the option of an exchange, but the most important thing we are talking today, is that they will maintain the commitment that it will be at fair market value of the land," José Adán Aguerri highlighted.
When asked about the project feasibility, Aguerri replied that HKND "has been very responsible, they are taking the necessary time, because they have insisted that if they are going to do something, they have to do it well and so far we can say that it is moving forward responsibly".
Meanwhile, Pereira from CNC, described the meeting as very interesting, because high priority is being given to the studies that are underway so that the work is built with scientific, engineering and environmental rigor.
"The most important thing regarding this is that they are taking the necessary time to conduct studies for this mega-project, every time a study is done, issues that need further study would appear; seismological studies are already being conducted, as well as geological studies, and the first earthworks are expected to start in the coming months at the Pacific for the port; national companies are already being taken into account for the preliminary works," Pereira stressed.
He added that they are pleased with the information that HKND is providing to national entrepreneurs and asked Nicaraguans to be patient because a project of this magnitude requires a lot of rigor, in order to avoid problems once in operation. Pereira also showed satisfaction with the issue of land purchase related to families that will be relocated.
Environmental commitment is reaffirmed
For his part, Wild reaffirmed the commitment of HKND to launch an ambitious reforestation project soon in the country and mainly along the canal route.
"We made a brief presentation of all the work we are doing, the most detailed studies and design optimizations that we are conducting and an explanation of other undergoing work, as well as the reforestation plan that is in process, we will start soon," Wild said to the journalists.
He stressed that the reforestation plan will allow a proper water balance for the canal; everything is projected in different studies.
“We are more and more convinced that the Canal will have enough water for its operation," Wild claimed.
He assured that the early works for Brito Port in Rivas will start in August or September.
Aguerri said that another meeting was agreed on for early June.