The Nicaraguan Canal (Spanish: Canal de Nicaragua), formally the Nicaraguan Canal and Development Project (also referred to as the Nicaragua Grand Canal, or the Nicaragua Interoceanic Grand Canal) is a shipping route under construction through Nicaragua to connect the Caribbean Sea (and therefore the Atlantic Ocean) with the Pacific Ocean. As of September 2015, no significant construction has taken place. It has been announced that construction of ports and locks will start before the end of 2015, but no money has yet been deposited for construction.In June 2013, Nicaragua's National Assembly approved a bill to grant a 50-year concession to finance and manage the project to the private Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company (HKND Group) headed by Wang Jing, a Chinese billionaire. The concession can be extended for another 50 years once the waterway is operational. Construction of the canal, estimated to cost 40 to 50 billion US dollars, began in December 2014, with completion due within five years.The Nicaraguan government has failed to present reliable information about whether or not the project can be financed, thus casting doubt over whether or not it can be completed.Scientists are concerned about the environmental impact of the project, as Lake Nicaragua is Central America's key freshwater reservoir.Construction of a canal using the San Juan River as an access route to Lake Nicaragua was first proposed in the early colonial era. 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.