Plans are under way to develop a port city in Colombo with modern facilities, Sri Lanka Port Authority Chairman Dr Priyath B Wickrama said.
An investment of US $ 450 million will be utilized to fill the land area to build this well-planned city. Measures will be taken to improve the connectivity and it could act as the commercial centre in Colombo. The work related to the city will commence in March, Dr. Wickrama said.
He was speaking at the 10th P B Karandawela memorial lecture under the theme strategies for port related logistics development following Colombo South Port expansion and Mahinda Rajapaksa Port development which was held in Colombo yesterday.
The Colombo port recorded an overall growth of 26 percent for the last year and it is one of the highests in the region.
The port needs an alternative solution to cater to the increased demand in the TEUs which is expected to reach 10 million by 2020, he said.
"We need another terminal and steps will be taken to increase capacity by taking measures to improve efficiency and space for TEU handling. More improvements are needed for 2012 and Port will be ready with capacity when the need arises," he said.
The Colombo port will maintain 18 percent of the Indian port volume to reach the 10 million TEU target by 2020. The Indian Port is expected to handle 50 million TEUs by 2020. The Indian port development projects currently under way are supportive for Sri Lanka's port activities.
The SLPA will implement a port policy document shortly to address the manpower need of the industry.
The SLPA Chairman requests the private sector to play a proactive role to make the country a maritime hub by 2020.