US$ 2.7 billion High-Speed train project proposed from Katunayake to Colombo Port City and Mattala

The Government is expected to sign an agreement in Colombo this week on the deployment of an electrified high-speed rail project.

According to the Daily FT, the Board of Investment (BOI) has approved the commencement of a comprehensive feasibility study on the project.

President of High-Speed Train and Mixed Development Project Dr. Parimalam Michael, who conceived the project over a decade ago, said that it will be launched as a two-stage project.

The electrified high-speed rail project will connect the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) to the Colombo Port City, and Katunayake to the Mattala International Airport.

Dr. Parimalam Michael said BOI approval has been granted to undertake the study for two sections of the project. Under the project one section is the 53 kilometres from Negombo to the Port City in Colombo, and the second stage is to conduct another line from the BIA to the airport in Mattala with two stopovers in Galle and Matara.

The first stage of the project will cost an estimated $ 1.7 billion for 53 kilometres, while the second stage will add another $ 1 billion.

The Government hopes to implement the electrified high-speed rail project, which will be under a Public-Private Partnership, as soon as 2022 and if approved the two-stage program would bring $ 2.7 billion in investment to Sri Lanka, he added.

Pointing out that his project is different to the recently cancelled Colombo Light Rail Transit System, Dr. Michael said his project is purely to bring in investment to the country, to tap into foreign markets to form the equity, and encourage them towards the financial model we need to do.

Shinan Bank, South Korea’s second largest bank is reported to have pledged it could commit 200 million euros in funding towards this project. (NewsWire)

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