Jun 18, 2017

Proposed high speed rail & mixed development mega project

High Speed Railway Corporation Pvt Ltd (HSRC) achieved a milestone recently when its equity partner Castlepines Global Equities–Japan Office (CGE) signed a Mandate to partner in delivering what is expected to be one of Sri Lanka’s largest Mega Projects.

Dr. Parimalam Rajo Isa Michael, the founding Chairman and visionary leader of the High-Speed Rail & Mixed Development Project, was the prime mover in setting up this partnership with one of the world’s largest Equity Funding Partners, Castlepines Global Equities.

HSRC with CGE have jointly extended a mandate to the Korean Institute of Machinery & Materials (KIMM) who have pioneered the MagLev technology into an urbanized version that has been successfully implemented in Korea with efficiency and economic value for both the operator and passenger.

KIMM will be mandated to undertake the design, development and implementation of the technology in Sri Lanka, while also taking on the responsibility to train and technically equip local know-how for the future.

This would be the first such instance in the entire Asian region. CML-MTD Construction Ltd., which is part of MTD Walkers PLC of Sri Lanka and their global counterparts Alloy MTD (based in Malaysia), will be mandated to undertake the construction of the proposed Rail Project estimated to cost around US$2 billion at this stage. Ceylan Insurance Brokers Pvt Ltd., have been mandated as the ‘Exclusive’ insurance partners of the mega project. Mr. Prasanna Abeyrathne, Director, Ceylan Insurance Brokers, has made a significant contribution in setting up the insurance partnership for the package and has assured his fullest commitment in supporting the project in its entirety.

The project has, over the years, evolved into what it is today and has had significant support from the Government of Sri Lanka to progress thus far. In particular, the Ministry of Megapolis, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transport and Board of Investment of Sri Lanka have seen the immense benefits from a development and economic perspective, and therefore extended support to the journey of the High Speed Rail & Mixed Development project. The proposed Mega Project constitutes a state-of-the-art railway line that will use Magnetic Levitation (MagLev) to cover Negombo, Katunayake (Bandaranaike International Airport – BIA), Bopitiya, Ragama, Kettarama International Cricket Stadium, Beira Lake (Colombo Fort), Port City & Colombo 03 (Kollupitiya) Railway Station.

Within the stations/terminals proposed, individual development projects under the umbrella of ‘High Speed Rail & Mixed Development Mega Project’ will be undertaken as follows: Negombo – Proposed upgrade to the existing Negombo town to cater to more dynamic economic growth as a part of the project. BIA – Integrate the MagLev Terminal at the departure and arrival lounges of the International Airport to allow both foreign and local passengers the opportunity to commute efficiently and with minimal hassle and time. Bopitiya – A new concept into township development which will cater to a minimum of 3,200 dwellings both isolated and structured with facilities and features such as modern amenities, car parks, fully-equipped sports complex, an 18 hole Golf resort, water park, flora and fauna nature reserve theme park and many more facilities.

Bopitiya is a land space that has a significant correlation to nature with its association to the heritage listed 'Muthurajawela’ and as such has been carefully thought of in the planning and designing process to ensure a minimum of 60% of the natural resources retain its original value. Furthermore, the promoters of this project led by Dr. Michael has emphasized the importance of the nature preservation requirements to the consortium, which has unanimously consented to this decision and hence carefully taken into account the legislated environmental policies and guidelines in preparing for the project.

Under this proposition, HSRC will implement at the cost of the project a complete revamp and upgrade of the terminal that will bring about transformation to experience with continuity of transportation options around the country. HSRC also plans to offer free travel up to Galle railway station for travelers and commuters who chose to use MagLev urban trains from Negombo to Colombo 3.

“This is a landmark event for myself and the country that I consider to be my motherland through my maternal heritage. And it has been a journey that I have worked towards over the past decade. I take great pride in announcing this landmark signing event and look forward to the realization of the project”, said the Dr. P. R. I. Michael, Chairman, High Speed Railway Corporation Pvt Ltd. “While there are many opportunities within the Asian region to invest in growth, it was our personal decision to support Sri Lanka. This was among many other reasons to support a country that is so rich in youth workforces and its passion to succeed in the future. We certainly look forward to working with our partners in Sri Lanka, HSRC in this journey”, said Mr. Takashi Kinoshita, President, Castlepines Global Equities–Japan Office.