Physical Parameters of Nicaraguan Canal Taking Shape

December 3, 2014

When physical work begins on Nicaragua's Great Inter-Oceanic Canal on Dec. 22, first-up will be the construction of access roads for the Pacific port, so as to be able to deliver the 4,000 pieces of heavy equipment, including 200 ton-capacity trucks and 600 ton-capacity excavators, required for the project, HKND Chief Project Advisor for the Canal, Bill Wild, told foreign correspondents in Nicaragua on Nov. 27. HKND is the Chinese company building the canal.

Work will begin in 2015 on the Caribbean port, as well. In order to meet the 5-year deadline set for completion of the canal, construction will have to move inward simultaneously from the Pacific and Caribbean terminal ports, Wild told Associated Press. But work begins on the Western terminus first, because it requires less excavation: 500,000 cubic meters of excavated material vs. the three billion cubic meters of dirt projected to be generated from digging the longer Caribbean stretch.

Broad parameters for the physical bill of materials involved in this huge endeavor are taking shape. That includes an estimated 37.5 tons of rice, 25 tons of vegetables, and 12.5 tons of meat needed daily to feed the estimated 50,000-person workforce required to build the canal and its associated port, roads, airport, steel and concrete factories, etc., along with some 5 billion liters of fuel.