The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is to call for RFPs (Request for Proposals) from the private sector to develop various port-related services and auxiliary services in and around ports in Hambantota, Trincomalee, Galle and Colombo, a senior official said yesterday.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting organised by the Council for Business with Britain, which functions under the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, SLPA Managing Director Capt. Nihal Keppetipola introduced a gamut of investment opportunities in and around Sri Lankaports, from investing in factories in industrial parks and leisure resorts to ship repairs and bunkering.
"We would soon announce the areas in which the private sector could invest in when we call for RFPs," he said.
The Hambantota port, which is being developed on a saltern, is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. The port is being built inland and the flooding in is expected to take place on August 15.
"We would soon call for RFPs for areas for private sector investments, or joint ventures in the areas of bunkering, oil storage, manufacturing cement, package fertilizer and flour, repairing ships and providing water and other services to sea going vessels calling on Hambantota," Capt Keppetipola said.
The government plans to build a city around the port and an industrial park is also to be set up.
"We have already received inquiries about the possibilities of setting up an automobile assembly plant and transhipment facilities for coal and iron ore," he said.
Capt. Keppetipola said Sri Lanka Ports Authority was planning to carryout bunkering operations all by itself but said interested firms could send in their proposals.
He said officials from Colombo Dockyard PLC, a company specialising in ship repairs had already visited the land allocated for a dry dock. "They asked us for more space all we could offer was what we showed them and anyone else interested in setting up ship repair operations is welcome to do so."
Capt. Keppetipola said a 5,000 acre land extent around the Trincomalee harbour was divided in to slots that would include a nature reserve, industrial park and leisure resorts. "We had called for RFPs before the war ended and we did not receive many responses but now we feel things would be different."
A yacht marina...
Galle is being developed into a yacht marina while plans are being made for an extension of the harbour to be developed into a general cargo port.
"Colombo would remain the main container handling port while general cargo would be moved to the south. The expansion of the Colombo South harbour is underway and the 6.1 km long breakwater would be completed by 2012. We would also fill up the sea between the harbour and Galle Face which would be transformed into a city. The technical studies have already been done and we are discussing how we are to proceed with calling for investments," Capt. Keppetipola said.