The Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank) will provide a concessional loan of US$ 989 million covering 85% of the contract price, for the Central Expressway Project – Section 1 from Kadawatha to Mirigama. The estimated cost of the project is US$ 1,164 million. This loan is the single largest loan approved by the EXIM Bank for Sri Lanka.
Since, the implementation of the Section 2 of the Central Expressway has commenced with the financial assistance of local commercial banks, this loan facility from China EXIM Bank will facilitate the speedy implementation of the Kadawatha–Mirigama section ensuring the connectivity of the expressway network up to Kurunegala.
The loan agreement was signed by Secretary, Ministry of Finance Dr. R. H. S. Samarathunga and Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Cheng Xueyuan on behalf of the EXIM Bank of China at the Ministry of Finance last week.
Section 1 of the Central Expressway Project (CEP) will start from Kadawatha where four expressways, namely Outer Circular Highway (OCH) II, OCH III and Colombo-Katunayake Expressway and the Central Expressway link through the Kadawatha interchange.
This will create uninterrupted connectivity from Hambanthota to Katunayake or Hambanthota to Kandy linking several provinces and economically important ports, airports and commercial cities. This proposed highway will improve the inter regional connectivity and efficiency of the entire expressway network.