Sri Lanka has awarded China Gezhouba Group a 161.61 billion rupee deal (1.06 billion US dollars) to build an expressway, a media report said, as member firms emerged from World Bank sanctions.
The project will be financed by the Exim Bank of China, through a 20-year loan with a 5-year grace period, the The Sunday Times newspaper said.
Members of the China Gezhouba Group had faced World Bank sanctions over misconduct involving projects in China.
In May 2015, the World Bank said it had debarred Gezhouba No. 1 Engineering Co. Ltd., Gezhouba No. 5 Engineering Co. Ltd., and Gezhouba No. 6 Engineering Co. Ltd. and their affiliates for a period of 18 months.
China Gezhouba Three Gorges Engineering Co. Ltd. and its affiliates are also debarred for a period of six months.
China Gezhouba Group Co. Ltd had been reprimanded, but was eligible to participate in World Bank activities, the World Bank said.
The World Bank said the firms had admitted misconduct in three Bank-funded projects in China in water conservation, earthquake recovery and flood management.
China Gezhouba Group will build Section IV of Sri Lanka’s Central Expressway, running from Kurunegala to Dambulla covering 58.7 kilometres.
The project is expected to be completed in three and a half years and would be part of the ‘Rajarata Navodaya’ President Maithripala Sirisena’s programme to Polonnaruwa, his home constituency.
The cost of the road running across relatively flat terrain will average 2.7 billion rupees a kilometre. Section II is to be built by domestic firms for 137.19 billion (about 3.4 billion rupees a kilometre) and Section three by Japan.
Culverts, viaducts, bridges and tunnelling can change construction costs.