The Czech government has approved the first phase of a canal that will connect the Danube and the North Sea, Czech Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlícek announced on Monday, as Radio Prague International reported.
The total cost would be about 15 billion CZK and construction work could begin in 2030.
Unlike the original plan, which aimed to connect the Danube, Oder and Elbe rivers, a study by the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade relies solely on connecting the Danube with the Oder.
The first phase of the project involves improving the infrastructure between the Czech city of Ostrava and the border with Poland, where the future canal would connect the Polish section to Kozle, at the intersection of the Oder and Klodnica rivers.
Subsequently, this first section of the canal would be connected to the Danube. The original plan to connect the canal to the Elbe River appears to have been abandoned by the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade because it was considered less economically viable.
Karel Havlícek stressed that the results of the studies show that the project is both realistic and beneficial for the surrounding region.
For example, it will provide easier access for local industry to European and global markets as well as opportunities for the tourism sector.