CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt.) Ltd Managing Director Jiang Houling presents a souvenir to Megapolis and Western Development Ministry Secretary Eng. Nihal Rupasinghe in the presence of Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Ranawaka and Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan Pic by Pradeep Pathirana
By Nishel Fernando
The sale of land blocks at Colombo Port City (CPC) will commence after June this year following the conclusion of the legal framework that governs the reclaimed land and special incentive packages for investors.
CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt.) Ltd, the Sri Lankan company handling the project for China Communications Construction (CCC) and the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry yesterday celebrated the completion of land reclamation of CPC, which was achieved three months ahead of the schedule.
According to Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, over 70 million cubic meters of sand had been used to fill the 269 hectares.
Megapolis and Western Development Ministry Secretary Eng. Nihal Rupasinghe told Mirror Business that once the setting up of the legal framework is completed and the investments incentives are announced, the land sales would commence formally, after June this year.The minister has already submitted a Cabinet paper seeking 269 hectares of CPC land to be decaled as part of the territory of the Western Province and Rupasinghe expects that special legislation for Colombo International Financial City (CIFC), which would be located at CPC, would be tabled in Parliament for approval, within two to three months.The special CPC legislation is targeted at attracting global multinational corporations for it to become a business and financial hub in South Asia. Meanwhile, Rupasinghe emphasised that the investor interest would significantly increase once the concessions for investments are announced.
CPC Project Director Nihal Fernando acknowledged that there had been a slight decline in investor interest in the project, due to uncertain politics created by the constitutional crisis that was triggered during the latter part of last year.
“There were several parties who expressed interest and who were ready to commence work. Unfortunately, due to the uncertainly, they have put these investments on hold. But they haven’t gone away,” he said.
Fernando revealed that US $ 1 billion investments in CIFC have been put on hold by a foreign company due to political crisis.
However, he was optimistic that once the infrastructure and legal framework are ready, the investors would return for negotiations. Chinese Ambassador in Colombo Cheng Xueyuan said that CCC estimated to have invested around US $ 700 million so far, generating 4,000 employment opportunities for Sri Lankans in CPC activities.
CCC is expected to invest US $ 1.4 billion in reclaiming land, constructing the breakwater barrier and in infrastructure development.
Rupasinghe noted that 70 percent of the breakwater construction has been completed so far and it is on route to be concluded in June this year.
CHEC Port has already begun work on ground improvement, construction of marina seawall, land formation and construction of marine protection structures, under the second stage.
In addition to CCC, the government is also expected to invest US $ 1 billion in utility facilities in CPC.
Rupasinghe said that the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and National Water Supply and Drainage Board have come on board to provide electricity and water to CPC.
The CEB has already included the energy demand of CPC in its long-term power generation plan.
According to him, the energy demand for CPC, once completed by 2040, is estimated to be 40MW.
In terms of sewage disposal, Rupasinghe said that the sewage lines of CPC will be connected to the sewage system of Colombo City and CPC will pay for the cost of sewage disposal to the Colombo Municipal Council.
He said that the government would be able to recover the investments in utility facilities via land sales and providing utility facilities. CPC is expected to host about 80,000 residents and 250,000 daily commuters once completed.