China firm completes Sri Lanka Port City sea reclamation for US$700mn
ECONOMYNEXT – CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, a unit of China’s CCCC group has completed reclaiming 269 hectares of sea off Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, three months ahead of schedule and is now engaged in surface development and building utilities, officials said.
China ambassador to Colombo, Cheng Xueyuan, said China had spent 700 million US dollars in reclamation work over 28 months, employing 4,000 Sri Lankans.
The project is now in surface development and building drainage and utilities. The estimated cost of the total project is 1.4 billion US dollars. Another 15 billion US dollars of investments are expected from buildings on the land over two decades.
CHEC Port City Colombo Managing Director Jiang Houliang said sand filling had been completed three months ahead of schedule after starting 28 months ago.
The last of three sand dredgers which extracted sand from the sea would leave Colombo on January 16, completing the first phase.
Minister of Megapolis Development Patali Ranawaka said 70 million cubic meters of sand had been used to fill the 260 hectare sea and 70 conditions were set in a development license given to the project company following an environmental impact assessment and a public consultation.
The project hit a road block in 2015 after a new administration came to power.
There had been opposition from fishermen north of the project that sand extraction may hard their livelihoods, but their concerns had been dealt with, Ranawaka said.
He said sand that had washed into the sea through the Kalu Ganga (River) over decades and had got deposited in the sea had been brought back to the shore.
Ranawaka said environmental and geo-political factors had to be addressed. (Colombo/Jan15/2018)