July 23, 2019
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    China lends US$ 989 million for CEP Section 1

    March 23, 2019

    The Export- Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank) has agreed to provide a concessional loan amounting to US$ 989 million covering 85 percent of the contract price for the Central Expressway Project (CEP) - Section 1 from Kadawatha to Meerigama. The total 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.

    The loan agreement was signed yesterday by Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R. H. S. Samarathunga on behalf of Sri Lanka and Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan on behalf of the Export – Import (EXIM) Bank of China at the Finance Ministry, Colombo.Since the implementation of the Section 2 of the Central Expressway has already commenced with the financial assistance of local commercial banks, this loan facility from China EXIM Bank will facilitate the speedy implementation of Kadawatha – Meerigama section ensuring the connectivity of the expressway network up to Kurunegala.
    Sri Lanka has accorded high importance to the development of infrastructure including the expressway network with inter-connectivity as it will directly contribute to the economic growth and will have indirect affects in raising the productivity and efficiency in different economic sectors.To complement the existing expressway network, Central Expressway Project has been initiated with a purpose of linking Colombo with Kandy and Kurunegala.
    Section 1 of the CEP will start from Kadawatha where four expressways, namely Outer Circular Highway (OCH) II, OCH III and Colombo-Katunayaka Expressway and the Central Expressway link through the Kadawatha interchange. This will create an uninterrupted connectivity from Hambantota to Katunayake or Hambantota 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.


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