Nicaragua Shelves Plan for Panama Canal Rival

A river running through Nicaragua
Updated Published

Nicaragua has officially terminated a 50-year concession previously awarded to Chinese businessman Wang Jing. This decision effectively ends the longstanding ambitions to construct a canal that would compete with the Panama Canal. 

Over a decade ago, Nicaragua had granted the rights to Wang, a telecoms mogul, to build a $50 billion, 278-kilometer-long waterway. A groundbreaking ceremony was held ten years ago, but the project stalled following a severe stock market crash the next year, which significantly impacted Wang's finances.

Meanwhile, another project that aimed to challenge the Panama Canal's dominance has also ceased progress. Florida-based Zergratran introduced plans in 2022 for an innovative underground tunnel in northern Colombia. 

This tunnel, leveraging magnetic levitation technology, was designed to transport containers between fully automated ports on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts in under 30 minutes. However, like Wang's canal, this project has since become inactive.