Sri Lanka expects to wrap up US$1.7bn LRT project finance by November

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is expecting to wrap up financing for a 1.7 billion US dollar light rail transit project for the capital Colombo by November 2018, for construction to begin by 2020, officials said.

The feasibility study for the project was officially handed over the Sri Lanka’s Megapolis Minister Champika Ranawaka on June 29. The first light rail will run from Colombo’s Fort area to Malabe, which is the most congested traffic corridor in the city.

“The light rail will ease congestion, speed up travel time from Malabe to Colombo to 30 minutes from the current 45 to 90 minutes,” Megapolis Minister Champika Ranawaka said.

The Japan International Co-operation Agency will provide a 1.7 billion US dollar equivalent yen denominated loan at 0.1 percent interest, project chief Chaminda Ariyadasa said.

The loan will have 40-year repayment term with 12 year grace period.

“Steps in processing the loan is progressing well,” head of the JICA in Colombo Fusato Tanaka said.

Sri Lanka expects to award contracts for detailed design shortly after the loan is signed in November and
construction may begin by 2020.

The project is expected to be completed by 2024. (Colombo/June29/2018)

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