President Mahinda Rajapaksa ended his four-day official visit to Japan on a high note, securing both financial assistance and technical expertise worth nearly Yen 2,000 million.
The most notable happening on the final day of his visit yesterday was a significant agreement with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).
JBIC Governor Koji Tanami met President Rajapaksa at the Imperial Hotel before Sri Lanka and JBIC signed the agreement through which the Japanese financial assistance would be channeled.
During his meeting with top JBIC officials, President Rajapaksa thanked for the assistance over the last few years. He recalled how JBIC funded the Uda Walawe project and said the people in those areas are now enjoying the benefits.
He also commended the yeomen service by JBIC on various road development projects, including the Colombo-Matara highway, as well as in the fields of ports and fisheries.
With the fast-changing world that now encourage eco-friendly projects, Sri Lanka would embark on a special Liquified Nitrogen Gas (LNG) project at Kerawalapitiya. The US$ 610-million project, which would generate electricity from biogas, would be an effective mean to face future power crisis.
The Japanese Government would meet almost two third of the total cost of the project, pumping in as many as US$ 400 million. At a time the world is focusing more on eco-friendly ventures, the LNG project would be a big boost for Sri Lanka`s economy in the long run.
The project that would generate electricity from biogas would help cut down fuel costs and also protect environment. The total power generation expected is 300 MW.
JBIC Governor, Koji Tanami (Japan) and Power and Energy, Ministry Secretary, M.M.C. Ferdinando (Sri Lanka) signed the agreement on behalf of the two countries.
Japan would also contribute both technical and financial assistance to establish a Coastguard Department. Japan`s Lands, Infrastructure and Tourism Minister Tetsuzo Fuyushiba held successful talks with President Rajapaksa in this regard.
The Japanese Ministry agreed to provide technical assistance, in addition to the costs involved in setting up the unit.