Sri Lanka Gives an Inch on Port City Project

The government of Sri Lanka approved on Wednesday the construction of a breakwater for a USD 1.5 billion port city project funded by China, which had been halted earlier this month, China’s Xinhua news agency reports.

Sri Lanka’s new government had suspended the plan to construct a commercial and residential center near the Colombo Port on March 5th amid raised concerns over the project’s environmental impact and regulatory issues.

However, Sri Lanka’s Cabinet allowed Chinese investors to move forward with certain segments of the projects which can prevent possible damages from sea erosion and rains, including the construction of the breakwater.

The approval was granted following a request made by Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe.

The Prime Minister also asked for relevant reports and documents related to the project to be submitted to a sub committee, which will decide on the future of the project.

The Colombo port plan is funded by China Harbor Engineering, a wholly owned subsidiary of the state-owned China Communications Construction.

The project envisages new berths for vessels at the nearby port, hotels, shopping centers, office buildings and residential complexes, encompassing an area of over 5.3 million square meters.

The investment is a part of China’s Maritime Silk Road initiative.

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World Maritime News Staff; Image: Atkins Global