China Eximbank provides $88.6 million buyer’s credit loan for Colombo Lotus Tower Project
Constant 2017 USD
Funding agency [Type]
Export-Import Bank of China [State-owned Policy Bank]
Communications (Code: 220)
Export Buyer's Credit
On September 17, 2012, China Eximbank and the Government of Sri Lanka’s Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) signed a $88.6 million buyer’s credit loan (BCL) agreement [No. BLA-201207] for the Colombo Lotus Tower Project. The BCL carries the following terms: 14 year maturity, 3 year grace period, 0.7% commitment fee, 0.9% management fee, and an interest rate of 6-month LIBOR plus a 4% margin. The total cost of the project is $104.3 million. The BCL will cover 85% of the cost of the project. The purpose of this project is to establish a multipurpose television and telecommunication tower with a leisure park in Colombo. It involves the construction of a 350 meter high multifunctional telecommunication tower with a floor area that includes radio and TV transmission, restaurants, hotels, conference & exhibition facilities, and a leisure park. Upon completion, the Colombo Lotus Tower or ('Nelum Kuluna') will reportedly be South Asia's tallest tower. Lotus Tower's main revenue sources will be tourism and antenna leasing. It will function as a radio and television broadcasting antenna ISDB-T and proposed DVB-T2 support structure for 50 television services, 35 FM radio stations, and and 20 telecommunication service providers. It will also house a variety of tourist attractions. A Chinese consortium — consisting of China National Electronics Import and Export Corporation (CEIEC) and Aerospace Long-March International Trade Co.Ltd. (ALIT) — initially agreed to jointly implement the project on a turnkey basis. However, ALIT left the consortium in August 2015, entrusting its partner CEIEC to act solely on its behalf to fulfill the contract with the TRC. A foundation stone laying ceremony took place on January 20, 2012. Construction began on November 12, 2012. The originally anticipate project completion date was October 31, 2017 and was later pushed to December 31, 2018. However, this project was plagued by delays and controversy. Sri Lanka's Ports and Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga claimed that construction was taking place on land that belongs to the Ports Authority without proper government approval. Also, President Maithripala Sirisena alleged in 2019 that ALIT misappropriated 2 billion rupees (approximately $11 million) in a deal to work on the construction of South Asia's tallest tower. Lotus Tower was ultimately opened to the public on September 16, 2019.
The Chinese project title is 莲花电视塔项目.
Number of official sources
Number of unofficial sources
Receiving agencies [Type]
Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka [Government Agency]
Implementing agencies [Type]
Aerospace Long-March International Trade Co., Ltd. (ALIT) [State-owned Company]; China National Electronics Import & Export Corporation (CEIEC) [State-owned Company]; Faculty of Architecture, University of Moratuwa [Other]; Government of Sri Lanka [Government Agency]