Sri Lanka’s Capital Opens South East Asia’s Tallest Tower, Using Belt & Road Funding

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Op/Ed by Chris Devonshire-Ellis

The Sri Lankan capital city, Colombo, has opened South-East Asia’s tallest free standing tower.

Costing over US$100 million, the 350 metre, 17 storey Lotus Tower towers over the city, and includes the national TV transmission network The tower has four entrances, with two being used as VIP (distinguished guests and state leaders) entrances. A telecommunications museum and restaurant are located on the ground floor. The tower podium consists of 6 floors. The first floor of the podium will accommodate a museum and two exhibition halls. The second floor will be utilized for several conference halls with seating space in excess of 500 people. Restaurants, supermarkets, and food courts will be situated on the third floor. A 1000-seat auditorium will be located on the fourth floor, which will also be used as a ballroom. The fifth floor will include luxury hotel rooms, large ballrooms, and the seventh floor will host an observation gallery. The landscaping is planned in the form of a large water park.

It covers an area of 30,600 square metres. The Lotus Tower will provide state of the art digital communications and TV, including 5G. 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 the proposed DVB-T2 support structure for 50 television services, 35 FM Radio Stations and 20 telecommunication service providers.

Sri Lanka and China signed off the Lotus Tower agreement in 2012, under the Chinese Belt & Road Initiative, with the aim to build the highest TV tower in South-East Asia. China’s National Electronics and Export Corporation were the main contractor, while China’s EXIM bank provided 80% of the finance.

The Sri Lankan President, Maithripala Sirisena opened the Tower to the public yesterday, even as works to complete it remain on-going. The country has needed a breath of positive news following the terrorist bomb attacks earlier this year.

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