Fulfilling a long felt need for another international port for the country, the Magampura harbour will be commissioned on November 18 by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Three ships will berth at the port at an auspicious time, Ports and Aviation Deputy Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena said. The Magampura harbour will be the second international harbour in Sri Lanka while being an alternative to the Colombo port the country's only international harbour.
The harbour is situated in an easy access location from the main sea routes. The Magampura harbour will be the biggest service and industrial port in the country since it is being constructed closer to the international maritime routes. It is the nearest point to the main shipping route that connects the East and the West. The ship 'Jetliner' will be the first ship which will enter the Magampura harbour amidst the chanting of Pirith by the Maha Sangha who will be on board the vessel. The Jetliner will be followed by a sailing ship and a Sri Lankan cargo ship.
The sailing ship will symbolise the proud maritime history of the country while the cargo ship will showcase the commencement of industrial and commercial activities of the harbour.
Ministers, officials, foreign dignitaries and large crowds are expected as visitors are welcome to the historic event. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority provide all facilities to accommodate the large crowds expected at the site, the Deputy Minister added.
The Magampura Harbour second phase construction will commence soon after. After completing the two phases the port will be spread over 2,000 hectare area. Then the port could facilitate 33 ships simultaneously. Under the first phase one kilometre long, 230 metre wide and 16 metre deep navigation channel has been constructed enabling it to accommodate vessels up to 100,000 DWT. Two jetties have already been constructed which can accommodate three ships at a time. A 300 metre long oil terminal and 300 metre long crude oil terminal are also being constructed along with administrative and service buildings. Under the second phase, more facilities will be added for commercial operations of the harbour, Ports and Aviation Ministry Secretary Ranjith De Silva said.