A consortium led by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) is to invest $1bn in three 60-storey office towers on reclaimed land in Sri Lanka’s new Port City. The towers will be part of a “new financial city”.

 Architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s rendering of the completed project

Architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s rendering of the completed project

In the future, this Port City will have at least 75,000 people residing here and 200,000 people moving in and out of the city on a daily basis.

The $1.4bn port is being constructed by China Communication Construction Company, the parent company of CHEC, on 269ha of reclaimed land, protected by a 3km-long breakwater. The port and its financial centre is conceived as a regional trade and finance hub, and an important node on China’s maritime route to Europe and Africa.

 Colombo’s International Container Terminals, near where the new port city will be build (CDR)

Colombo’s International Container Terminals, near where the new port city will be build (CDR)

Work began in late 2016 following a protracted political struggle within the Sri Lankan government, which reflected geopolitical rivalry between India and China (see further reading for more on the history of the scheme). As of December 2017, 61% of the land needed has been reclaimed.

It was also announced that the approval has been given for a tunnel project to connect Colombo with Port City. The work will be carried out by CHEC on a public–private partnership basis, and will provide a road link between port and capital. The planned route runs from Marine Drive and under the Galle Face Green esplanade to Port City.

  Artist’s rendition of the planned  Colombo Port City, in Sri Lanka (Wikimedia Commons)

Artist’s rendition of the planned  Colombo Port City, in Sri Lanka (Wikimedia Commons)

 CHEC’s plan view of the reclaimed land, just south of the existing port

CHEC’s plan view of the reclaimed land, just south of the existing port

The Port City will also include residential buildings, schools, banks, shopping malls, a marina, parks, hotels and public beaches. Once completed, the projected is expected to attract $15bn of foreign investment into Sri Lanka.

N Rupasinghe, the secretary to the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, commented that the project was intended to present a modern image of Sri Lanka. He said: “Today we have a planned city which will be completed in 25 years.”

 US architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) digital rendering of the financial district

US architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)digital rendering of the financial district

Source : GCR

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