Sri Lanka calls for private investments to build port city

Sri Lanka’s port city to be built on reclaimed sea will be financed with private capital and investors would be free to come up with proposals on how to use the land, an official said.

“We do not depend on the government, we do not get any government guaranteed finances,”Priyath Bandu Wickrama, chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) told a forum organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

“We will keep on raising funds from open market.”

The Port city is to be constructed between the Southern edge of the new Colombo South Port and the Fort Lighthouse. The total area of sea to be reclaimed is 252 hectares Wickrama said.

There will be a 3.25km long breakwater and a large internal artificial canal in the city.

Wickrama said the administrative responsibility of the port city project will be with the SLPA, the Board of Investment and the Urban Development Authority.

“In Investment what we are trying to do is to facilitate even unsolicited proposals,”Wickrama said.

“So no restriction. It’s open. In any other country investments comes through the investors itself. We have to let them to decide. If you call tenders you might not get proper investment proposals.

“We have set up a transparent system to evaluate the unsolicited proposals with a cabinet approved committee and every each proposal goes to another technical evaluation committee as well.”

“We are looking at 20 billion US dollars investment within 10 to 15 years.”

Wickrama said an about 1.4 million US dollars will be invested to build the basic infrastructure including land, electricity and roads structures and further up to 2.0 billion US dollars once the entire infrastructure is completed.

The port city will have shopping areas, water sports area, mini golf course, hotels, apartments, recreation areas and also marinas.

“If we are to convert Sri Lanka to a maritime hub or a logistic hub, we need people to come and invest, we need people to come and set up offices,”Wickrama said.

“What we are trying to do is facilitate and create something that will attract people to Sri Lanka.”

The reclaiming of sea land has begun with China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) an affiliate of the China Communication Construction Co. Ltd (CCCC). The company will also develop breakwater, connected road network and supply of services, under the procedures adhered by the Government.

The total investment comes from the company.

An about 125 hectares of land area out of the total land area will be owned by the Government of Sri Lanka, whilst the rest will be retained by the Chinese company to cover their costs of expenditure.

About 20 hectares will come under the company’s full ownership whilst the rest will be handed over under 99 year lease basis.

Wickrema said land will be sold for about 8.5 million rupees a perch. from


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