Colombo Port City to attract $ 20-25 b

Monday, 20 January 2014 00:04 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Land filling of the port city to commence in March
By Cheranka Mendis Sri Lanka’s proposed off-shore city, the Colombo Port City, is likely to attract investment topping US$ 20-25 billion in the coming years, with the large sellable land that will be available at the completion of the city construction with the 3,300-metre long breakwater and filling work. Phase I of the land filling project is expected to start in March this year and will likely to be completed in 24 months while the project itself will be completed within 39 months, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama told an interactive session with investors organised by the Shippers Academy and Apparel Exporters Association. China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) has come forward to invest US$ 900 million for the land filling process and will acquire 100 acres from the 650-acre land area. The Government, which is adamant to “not spend a cent” for the project and let private investors do the needful, will receive the remaining 460 acres, which will be up for sale for commercial or recreational purposes. Dr. Wickrama noted that the investor has expressed interest in adding another US$ 2 billion into the land to create other facilities as well while 233 hectares of land is to be reclaimed from the sea for the port city project. Known to be the single largest investment project in Sri Lanka, the port city will also have Sri Lanka’s first 100-storeyed skyscraper under Phase II of its work. This phase would include the construction of the planned hotels, high rise buildings, and recreational facilities, shopping complex, golf course, office buildings and business centres. “A lot of foreign investment will come in,” an optimistic Wickrama said. “As at now, there are two investors who have committed and we are confident that more will follow.” “The Colombo Port City will have quick links to administrative capitals, trade zones and logistics centres, serving as a nerve centre of the economic vision of the country. Colombo Port City will assist in promoting tourism with its well-planned system.” Plans are now being prepared to extend the Katunayake Expressway to the port and the port city as well. Wickrama added: “Our ministries are studying this currently and the project will start soon.” A management company 100% owned by SLPA will also be established to manage the new city. “The city will look after all its businesses.” In addition to the port city, another 100-acre island is being created in Hambantota. Construction work on this has already commenced. The Chairman noted that this would be an exclusive island that requires a pass to enter and exit. “In addition to these, SLPA has prime commercial land in Colombo city and other areas which will be developed to enhance its commercial value.  We have every confidence that with the ongoing development in the port sector in Sri Lanka and continuous interest of investors from around the world, Sri Lanka will achieve its transition to one of the most developed countries in South Asian region,” Wickrama insisted.