ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has given Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) a contract to build the first section of an expressway to the central region which is to be funded with a loan from China’s Exim Bank.
Government negotiations with MCC had fixed the total cost of the 32.5 km section from Kossinna to Mirigama at 145.8 billion rupees or 4.5 billion per kilometre, officials said.
The first phase of the Central Expressway, from the capital Colombo to Kandy in the central hills, consists of building the road section from Kadawatha to Meerigama.
A 5 km section from Kadawatha to Kossinna is expected to be completed from savings negotiated by the government in the third phase of the Outer Circular Highway being built by MCC.
MCC has already started preliminary work on the first 5km section of the central Expressway.
The Cabinet of Ministers last week approved a proposal for the Road development Authority to sign a contract with MCC to build the road section from Kadawatha to Meerigama of the Central Expressway.
It also approved the release of 500 million rupees by the Treasury immediately to pay compensation for land acquisition.
The finance ministry is to also seek a soft loan from Exim Bank of China for the project.
(Colombo/July 27 2015)