China Harbour eyes BIA terminal project abandoned by JapanView(s):
By Damith Wickramasekara
China Harbour Engineering Corporation (CHEC) has expressed interest in completing work on the new passenger terminal at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) after the Japanese pulled out of funding it.
The US$ 1bn (Rs 366bn) project, known as the BIA Development Project Phase II Stage 2 (BIADP PII S2), has been suspended since July 2021 after the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) decided not to make further disbursement of funds citing the inability of the Sri Lanka Government to repay the loan. The Government defaulted on its international debt obligations in April that year.
The contract for the project has since been terminated by the contractor. Accordingly, CHEC has written to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Aviation expressing interest in undertaking the project and has proposed two commercial models in this regard. One is an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) option with a financing model while the second option is a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model.
The firm has expressed confidence that the project can be completed within 24-months through an accelerated construction programme with double shifts operating 24 hours a day.
The Ministry is currently studying CHEC’s proposal, with senior management exploring which of the options is more advantageous to Sri Lanka, a senior official told the Sunday Times.
The expansion project began in 2020 and was supposed to be completed in three years. The scheduled completion date was initially December this year. The COVID pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis, though, meant construction came to a complete standstill.
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