Road Block

Open bids to be called for in June to build the Colombo-Katunayake Highway are on hold, as the government tries to jumpstart the process with former contractor Keagnam.rnrn

rnPriority for the project has been shifted to lquote now rather than months down the line, with the new government halting two years of groundwork, to explore re-negotiation with Keagnam.rn

rnSome 30 percent of the highway was completed under a 36-month construction plan with the South Korean based construction firm about four years ago.rn

rnThe government had already invested Rs. 4.5 bn into the US$ 127 mn, 22 km highway, before handing over the reigns to the private sector.rn

rnThe contract with Keagnam was then terminated last year to allow private investors to bid for the project afresh, with an lquote annuity-based financial model proposed.rn

rnTechnical consultants, Australian based Snowy Mountain Engineering Corporation were brought in to draft concession agreements, carry out initial project design studies, work