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Honduras Declares Interoceanic Rail Corridor of ‘National Interest’

Honduran President Xiomara Castro said this week that the interoceanic rail corridor project, which has been in the country’s plans for several years, is of “national interest” and will be presented to international entities who wish to participate in it.

“I declare in the name of the State, due to the national interest to protect public and social interests of the 9mn Hondurans, that the interoceanic train to connect the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans is a project of national interest,” Castro said during a ceremony, according to Telesur. 

She added that the project includes creating a public-private company, but without providing details.

“It is a project to promote the economic and social development of the Central American region. The development scheme of this megaproject will be through the creation of a great national company,” Castro was quoted as saying by daily La Prensa. 

In July, BNamericas learned that the US$20bn project had been presented to China after establishing diplomatic relations with Honduras. However, there could be other interested parties. 

“The United States and other countries have expressed to me the importance of this project for developing trade in our region. I announce that we will invite different nations and private sectors that have shown a willingness to participate,” said Castro, according to La Prensa. 

Foreign minister Eduardo Enrique Reina said that Spain, Italy, and South Korea are interested in participating.

The project is reported to involve the refurbishment of Castilla port – the deepest in the Caribbean – and building another on Amapala island in the Pacific at about the same depth. 

The rail corridor would complement the Panama Canal, where its depth limits operations. 

“Castilla port is the deepest in Central America, there is also an island called Amapala in the Fonseca Gulf and both locations have the capacity to receive post-Panamax ships, which can transport over 20,000 containers,” said engineer Jorge Paz from the Honduras civil engineers association, in an interview with BNamericas in July. “The largest ship that can cross the Panama Canal has around 11,000 containers and its depth is an obstacle, especially during the summer.”

Source : Bnamericas