Q&A: CHEC speaks to LBO on Port City project


Oct 16, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s much talked port city project is still under water as the new administration has questioned project approvals.

The builders of Sri Lanka’s Chinese-funded port city project say discussions are ongoing and they await a positive reply from the government after the suspension of work.

Sri Lanka’s cabinet last month approved an extension of the Colombo port city agreement for further six months. The agreement signed between the government and the relevant project company, CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, on 16th of September 2014 expired on 15th of last month.

The 1.4 billion US dollar Chinese Port City was to be constructed between the Southern edge of the new Colombo South Port and the Fort Lighthouse.

The total area of sea to be reclaimed is 252 hectares.

The Minister for Megapolis Champika Ranawaka told LBO on Thursday that a port city is included in the Megapolis design, in close proximity to the China Port City, and plans would be harmonized.

Some basic legal and environmental issues need to be addressed, and the government is revisiting it, he said.

LBO spoke to Liang Thow Ming, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, of CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd to find out the current scenario of the port city project.

Q:  Sri Lanka’s government extended the port city agreement for further six months. What are your comments? 

Ming: The agreement was extended to give more time to iron out the agreement.

Q:  In an earlier interview with LBO you said discussions were positive. What is the current situation?

Ming: The discussions are still in a positive direction. There were some delays along the way due to the parliamentary elections and related matters. But now it is on track.

Q: Are you losing money due to this delay?

Ming: Yes. We are losing about 380000 US dollars per day as estimated earlier.

Q: Have you submitted the necessary documents to gain approvals from the government of Sri Lanka?

Ming: We have submitted all the documents and approvals granted to us by the previous government to the current government way back in March. There are certain areas that the government want us to relook and we are working on it.

Q: You said that you are opening your plans to public. When will that be?

Ming: Once the project is formally approved by the government of Sri Lanka, we will be prepared to reveal our plans to the public.