Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) signed a letter of intent (LOI) with the China Merchant International Holding and Aitken Spence Consortium to construct the Colombo South container terminal yesterday.
The terminal will be constructed on a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis and will be developed on a public-private partnership.
The total investment of the project is US $ 450 million. The project will be completed before 2012 for operations, a senior Sri Lanka Ports Authority official told Daily News Business.
With the opening of the Colombo South container terminal, the SLPA will have the capacity to handle another 2.4 million Total Equivalent Units (TEUs). The Colombo port handles over four million TEUs monthly now.
The official said the Colombo East and the West container terminals are also under construction and with the completion of those two terminals by 2020, the Authority expects to handle 10 million TEUs monthly.
The terminals will be developed with modern technology such as computerized terminal management systems. The use of latest technology will help to increase the throughput, vessel turnaround, productivity and the revenues of the Colombo port.
The on-going Colombo harbour expansion infrastructure projects will be completed within the scheduled time frame of April next year. Of the main 5.1 Kilometre breakwater, 3.1 Kilometres has finished work.
“Expansion of the Colombo harbour will be a boost to the Sri Lanka’s shipping industry”.
It will also facilitate the private sector investment in the country. It is one of the most important projects to uplift the facilities of the Colombo port. It is now under way and making a commendable progress, he said.
The project will promote economic growth by improving Sri Lanka’s competitiveness in the ports sector by expanding Colombo port using public-private partnerships and facilitate economic growth by enhancing national competitiveness in international trade via lower transport costs and faster delivery times, the official said.