Japan firm lands massive Sri Lanka airport contract
Posted on February 20th, 2020

Courtesy Borneo Bulletin

February 21, 2020

COLOMBO (AFP) – A Japanese firm was chosen by Colombo yesterday to build a new USD570 million terminal for Sri Lanka’s main airport, as Tokyo re-emerges as a key infrastructure backer amid a raft of Chinese projects.

The Cabinet announced the Taisei Corporation was picked to develop the Japanese-funded project, with the new terminal expected to double the capacity at Bandaranaike International airport to around 20 million passengers a year.

The decision follows the financing of Colombo’s planned USD1.5-billion light rail system last year by Japan’s overseas development agency – the biggest single foreign investment in the island nation.

During the presidency of Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was recently appointed prime minister, Sri Lanka secured almost USD7 billion in loans from China, dislodging Japan as the island’s main infrastructure funder.

But a second international airport funded and built by China in Sri Lanka’s south is a white elephant, with no airline using it for scheduled flights.

Unable to service its loans, Colombo leased a Chinese-built deep-sea port at Hambantota to a Beijing company for USD1.12 billion in 2017.

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