WATER IS SCARCE in Panama these days, with the possibility that, by the end of the dry season, the low level of water in the lakes may lead to restrictions on some vessels wishing to transit the Canal.
But Panama Vice-President President and Foreign Minister, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado took a little of it , specially chilled, to pour on talk of a Nicaragua Canal before an audience at the London School of Economics (LSE) this week.
"In Panama we are not concerned about the possibility of competition. But if it were to materialize, we will ensure that we remain competitive," reports the magazine Container Management.
"[In Panama] you could build a fourth and even fifth Canal expansion costing much less than it costs to build the Nicaragua canal" she added.
Early last year, according to international agencies, Jorge Quijano, administrator of the Panama Canal Authority, said that building a fourth set of locks for the waterway would cost between $16 and $17 billion . The current expansion cost nearly $6 billion
The Nicaragua Canal route is an extension of 278 kilometers, of which 105 kilometers is a lake
The work is to be done by the Chinese consortium HKND Group and has an approximate cost of $50 billion . It includes a railroad, highways, two ports and a free trade zone, and has a five year completion target.
I hope they ditch that plan.
How is that "pouring cold water" on the Nicaraguan canal? Some of these headlines?