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2 Nov, 2013

Chinese Investor Plans US$1.54 Billion Port City In Colombo


COLOMBO, Nov 1 (NNN-XINHUA) — A mega development project to build a 1.43 billion USD port city along the shoreline of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo will be put for Cabinet approval next month with construction expected to begin in December, an official says.

The project, which aims to reclaim a 230-hectare site from the sea to build a mini-city which is expected to include a Formula 1 racetrack, is projected by the Sri Lankan government to attract 15 billion USD in investments for the country.

The state-run Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) overseeing the venture has already signed a 1.43 billion USD agreement with China Communications Construction Co Ltd. to build a city on the 230-hectare site to be reclaimed from the sea.

The 39-month-long construction reclamation and construction project will also include eco-parks, residential areas, offices and shopping malls, according to the SLPA. It will be adjacent to Colombo harbor, which is also being expanded by a Chinese company.

Project Director Susantha Abeysiriwardene told journalists here Thursday that if Cabinet approved the project, construction could begin in December after an opening ceremony in the middle of next month.

“Once we have obtained permission from the Cabinet we hope to sign relevant agreements and begin construction by December,” he said, adding that initial work had already been started.

A section of the reclaimed land will be handed over to the Chinese company while the rest will be parcelled off to other investors under a 99-year lease, Ports and Highways Deputy Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told media earlier this month.

The new real estate will be among the most sought after locations in Colombo and is adjacent to exclusive hotels, including a 500 million USD Shangri-la Hotel, which is already under construction.

Since Sri Lanka ended a 30-year war in 2009, China has emerged at the island nation’s largest loan provider, funding massive infrastructure projects of highways, railways, coal power plant, airport and harbour estimated to be worth around 4.0 billion USD.