Costa Rica Presents Inter-Oceanic Canal Project

Officials from various public agencies announced that they are evaluating a proposal to build an interoceanic shipping canal through the country’s northern zone to connect ports on the Caribbean and the Pacific coasts of Costa Rica.

The National Concessions Council (CNC) on Monday confirmed they
have received the proposal for the $16 billion project from Canal Seco de Costa Rica (CANSEC), a private consortium. The megaproject would link three ports: one on the Caribbean coast in Parismina, another in San Carlos, north of Alajuela province and another in Santa Elena, in La Cruz, Guanacaste.

Silvia Jiménez, technical director of the CNC, said at a press conference on Monday that ports would be connected by 315 kilometers (196 miles) of railways that can accomodate double-height containers. The proposed project also includes the construction of a 10-lane road, 30 hydroelectric plants and two seaports.

CANSEC representative Lucia D’Ambrossio said at the presentation that the project is the opportunity the country needs to position itself globally. “It’s an integral solution. The canal would end the traffic jams. It will change the face of the provinces and make the country a global reference,” she said.

Public Works and Transport (MOPT) Minister Carlos Villalta said this would be the most ambitious and expensive project in the country’s history. Villalta said that the first phase of the project is already underway analyzing the documents that make up the CANSEC proposal. 

“The impact of this project would be similar to that of the Panama Canal, as it would create about 80,000 jobs for the country,” Villalta said.

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