ERM delivers Nicaragua canal project study

Manuel Román from ERM presents the ESIA report to the Nicaragua Canal Project Commission. Image: El 19 Digital
Manuel Román from ERM presents the ESIA report to the Nicaragua Canal Project Commission. Image: El 19 Digital

On 31st May, 2015, the HKND Group received the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) report, completed by the British company Environmental Resources Management (ERM) for the Interoceanic Nicaragua Canal Project and presented to the Government of Nicaragua in the Capital City of Managua.

Xu Changbao, General Manager of HKND’s Nicaragua Office, received the ESIA report from Manuel Román (senior consultant of ERM) and handed it over to the President of the Nicaragua Canal Commission (Manuel Coronel) and the Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources of Nicaragua (Juana Argeñal).

On 13th June, 2013, the Nicaragua National Assembly approved the exclusive commercial agreement between the Government of Nicaragua and the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company Limited (HKND) for the Nicaragua Canal Project. The agreement entitles the HKND Group sole right to plan, design, construct, operate and manage the Nicaragua Canal Project and other potential projects (including two ports, a free trade zone, an international airport and other infrastructure development projects) for a period of up to 100 years.

The HKND Group is determined to uphold the principles of legality, transparency and integrity and has always been endeavoring to carry forward this world-class project to the highest international standards and best practices. On 4th June 2013, the HKND Group entrusted ERM to carry out an environmental and social impact study for the Nicaragua Canal Development Project.

ERM organized a leading team of world class experts in environmental and social studies to conduct extensive field investigations, covering a number of provinces in the south of Nicaragua, as well as other surrounding areas around the proposed canal route. After two years, ERM completed the ESIA report on 29th May, 2015 comprising of 14 volumes with 11,000 pages and up to 2.75 million words. The report covers a wide range of scientific disciplines including geology, soil, groundwater, surface water, air, noise, vibration, marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems; while the social studies cover social resources, community health and cultural heritage; together with local economy and employment.

The completion of the ESIA marks another important milestone of the Nicaragua Canal Development Project and will play a significant role in promoting the Project. Furthermore, it’s the best embodiment of HKND to bringing forward the Project to the highest international standards. After the Government of Nicaragua reviews and approves the ESIA, it will be disclosed to the public as required by the Nicaraguans Laws.

At the ceremony, the ESIA report was handed over in the presence of the Investment Advisor to PRONicaragua, Laureano Ortega; the Majority Leader of the National Assembly, Edwin Castro from the Sandinista National Liberation Front, and José Milán, Science Advisor of the Nicaraguan Government.

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