Sri Lanka seeks foreign investors for Build, Operate, and Transfer basis e-bus project
Daily FT: The Government is inviting investors for an electric bus initiative on a Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) basis to introduce sustainable public mobility solutions within the Western Province.
Originally slated to encompass 50 electric buses, the pilot project is now set to scale up to 200 electric buses following the Cabinet of Ministers approval recently.
On 27 February, Cabinet initially approved it as a public-private partnership (PPP). However, challenges surrounding the investment costs of charging infrastructure rendered the project non-viable in its initial configuration. Later, based on feedback from experts and stakeholders, the feasibility of the project could be unlocked by increasing the scale to a range of 200 to 500 buses.
This initiative will be executed in collaboration with the state-run Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB), underscoring a collaborative approach to drive forward sustainable public transportation.
“The project will follow a BOT model over a designated period of years,” Cabinet Co-Spokesman and Transport Minister Bandula Gunawardena explained at the post-Cabinet meeting media briefing last week.
Highlighting the financial constraints faced by the Government to invest in electric buses, he emphasized that once the investors realize their returns, the assets will be transferred to SLTB.
“Investors from across the globe, including Korea, China, and the UK, are invited to express their interest and submit their proposed terms and timeframes,” he added.
Gunawardena said the Government aims to extend the reach of general transport facilities to additional routes, thereby maximizing the project’s expected benefits.
“The introduction of electric buses will withdraw 200 fuel-run SLTB buses from the Western province, redirecting them to serve provincial routes,” he added.
Sri Lanka’s ongoing economic activities aimed at developing the country into an emerging business destination in the South Asian region have opened up a host of new business/investment opportunities. These expanding opportunities cover all key economic sectors in the country. Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have also helped boost the business/investment opportunities in the country. The expanding economic activities have opened up opportunities to provide technical expertise as well as supply goods required by the key economic sectors in line with the ongoing developments. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore confidently explore the growing opportunities in Sri Lanka.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/20230905/Z_5|