June 24, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has notched up 2.53 billion US dollars in funding from China, since 2007 and 1,205 billion US dollars already disbursed into roads, power, ports and airports, a finance ministry report said. Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board built its first 300 MegaWatt coal plant with Chinese financing and the construction of the balance 600MW is now underway.
Key Chinese financed projects included a 360.8 million dollar port in Hambantota in the South which was financed with a 306.7 million dollar loan from the Exim Bank of China.
The Exim Bank is also financing a 25.8 million kilometer expressway to the capital from the main airport Last year 53 million Us dollars had been disbursed for the airport road, 91 million US dollars for roads in the north of the island.
China is also financing an airport in Mattala in the South. China financed projects are mainly built by Chinese contractors sometimes on a turnkey basis and are quickly completed.
In 2009 and 2010 China had a utilization rate of 38.3 percent and 46.7 percent, compared with an average rate of 25.7 percent for all projects. In 2011 the utilization rate dropped to 18.5 percent amid an average fall to 21.8 percent.