More than 25,000 direct
employment opportunities and 200,000
indirect employment will be generated within
the next five years in the ports and
shipping sector, Ports Authority Chairman Dr
Priyath Wickrama said.
Addressing the media at
the Mass Media and Information Ministry in
Colombo yesterday, he said five port
development projects are being carried out.
From 2005 the Government
has spent US $ 1.7 billion on port
development projects, he added.
The Colombo, Hambantota,
Galle, Trincomalee and Oluvil ports
development projects are in full swing, he
With the rapid
development of the ports sector foreign
investors are keen to invest in Sri Lanka in
cement grinding, cement bagging, fertiliser
bagging, vehicle assembling, operation of LP
Gas and much more.
Already 24 foreign
investors have applied for approval to
commence their port related businesses, Dr
The Government has
identified the need to expand the Colombo
port to cater to the increasing demand for
services in the international shipping
industry. Under the expansion project a 6.83
kilometre long breakwater is being
constructed, Dr Wickrama said.
A crude oil pipe line
will also be constructed and dredging of a
new harbour basin will be undertaken. A
navigation channel will also be completed.
Terminals and other
related services will also be established.
“The Colombo Port has
reached its maximum capacity for all types
of cargo by now.
“The Government has to
expand the harbour to meet the increasing
demand,” Dr Wickrama said.
“Around 286 hectares of
sea area will be filled up and it will
change the Sri Lanka map. After the
completion of the development program the
container handling capacity will increase
from 4.5 million to 12 million DWT vessels
per annum” the Chairman said.
The Hambantota port
project is also progressing satisfactorily.
It is hoped to complete even earlier than
the scheduled date. This port will be the
biggest service and industrial port in the
country since it is closest to the
international maritime route. It is the
nearest point to the main shipping route
that connects East and West, the Chairman
added. In addition Galle, Trincomalee and
Oluvil port development projects are being
Under the Mahinda
Chinthana Nil Ahasa Jayaganimu several
projects on airport development are also
being carried out. The second international
airport is being constructed at Mattala,
Hambantota. The runaway which is being
constructed will be large enough to operate
even the ever largest aircraft in the world
A380. With the commencement of the operation
around 10,000 direct employment
opportunities and a large number of indirect
employment will be generated, International
Relations Manager of Sri Lankan Airline
Srimanthaka Senanayake said. Mihin Lanka is
earning a slight profit from last December
despite certain grand scale airlines also
running at a loss, Mihin Lanka Chief
Executive Officer Kapila Chandrasena said.
Mihin Lanka has planned
to add another aeroplane to its fleet within
the next few months.
“At present Mihin Lanka
operates to five destinations and this will
be increased to ten in due course. Steps
have been taken to increase the profit
margin while implementing new income
generation methods” Chandrasena added.
As a result of the
ongoing development projects in the aviation
sector, within next five year period both
Sri Lankan and Mihin Air will carry more
than 55 per cent of incoming and outgoing
air passengers, the Secretary of Ports and
Aviation Ranjith de Silva said.