July 12, 2013 (LBO) – A top Chinese toll road company has landed deal to build and run a 1.5 billion US dollar expressway from the capital to central Sri Lanka, which could be the island’s largest single foreign investment to date. Hua Jian Highway Investment Company manages 6,900 kilometres of toll roads, bridges and tunnels in China. It also owns China Merchants Holdings (Pacific) Ltd, a Singapore listed company which owns toll roads in China.
The cabinet of ministers had given the nod for China Merchants Holdings (International) Company Limited and China Merchants Hua Jian Highway Investment Company Limited, a top toll road operator in China to plan, design, finance, construct and operate the first section of the Northern Expressway system.
Earlier in the week Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera told an economic forum that the road could bring in 1.5 billion US dollars in foreign direct investment and be a ‘land mark’ project.
A toll road is usually given on a 25 to 30 year concession period.
The northern expressway system runs from Colombo to Jaffna in the north via Kurunegala and Dambulla with connections to Kandy and Trincomalee. The cost of the entire project could exceed 4.5