The Nicaragua Canal (also referred to as the Nicaragua Grand Canal, or the Nicaragua Interoceanic Grand Canal) is a proposed shipping route through Nicaragua to connect the Caribbean Sea (and therefore the Atlantic Ocean) with the Pacific Ocean. Construction of such a shipping route - using the San Juan River as an access route to Lake Nicaragua - was first proposed in the early colonial era.
Napoleon III wrote an article about its feasibility in the early 19th century. The United States abandoned plans to construct a waterway in Nicaragua in the early 20th century after it purchased the French interests in the Panama Canal.
Because the steady increase in world shipping may make it an economically viable project, speculation on a new shipping route has continued. In June 2013, Nicaragua's National Assembly approved a bill to grant a 50-year concession to the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company (HKND Group) to build the waterway.
The concession can be extended for another 50 years once the waterway is operational. Construction of the canal, estimated to cost $40 billion, is to begin in December 2014 and would be completed within six years.