China will invest US$ 1 billion to construct the first building complex in Sri Lanka's Port City project in capital Colombo this year, Sri Lankan Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Champika Ranawaka said here Thursday.
The Port City project is being constructed close to the Colombo Harbor by China Communications Construction Company, the parent company of China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC), and will attract billions of dollars as investments in the coming years.
Ranawaka said that in order to kick-start investments, CHEC this year would invest and construct three 45-storey buildings, which would be part of the International Financial Center in the Port City.
“To facilitate the construction of the building complex, we have done a comprehensive environmental and social impact assessment, and a new piece of legislation for the Port City will be passed in Parliament by April or May. The physical work of the building complex will commence in the mid of this year,” the minister said.
Ranawaka further said that CHEC would also invest in the construction of the underground tunnels connecting Colombo city to the Port City.
The underground tunnel will provide a north-south link through one of the busiest traffic areas of Colombo, and will provide an underground road connection to the road network of the Port City as well. Ranawaka said that two Memoranda of Understandings for the building complex project and the tunnel project had been signed between Sri Lanka and China.
The Colombo Port City Project will consist of 269 hectares of reclaimed land and will be the first of its kind in South Asia. The Port City will include residential buildings, schools, hospitals, parks, beaches and a financial city for investors.