Two deep water terminals will be added within two to three years at the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva said.
He also said Sri Lanka sealed the biggest-ever investment in the port sector worth USD 650 million with India’s Adani, John Keells Holdings (JKH), and the State-owned SLPA signing the Build, Own, Operate, and Transfer (BOOT) deal for the Colombo West International Terminal (CWIT).
Addressing the 56th AGM of Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents, the Minister said phase II of the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Port of Colombo (POC) has commenced and work is in progress.
“It will have a 1320 m long quay to accommodate three Ultra Large Container Carriers (ULCC) which has a length of 400 m or more at -18 to -20 m depth berths with a back yard area. The approximate terminal area is 72 ha. This will be the Second Deep Water terminal and it will add another 3 million TEUs to Port of Colombo. Once ECT and WCT are fully operational in 2024-2025, it will increase the capacity of Port of Colombo by another 7 million TEUs. Shipping lines could enter into terminal services agreements to make use of these developments and provide the throughput boost the port requires,” he said.
Speaking further, he also noted SLPA began construction of Phase V of the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) to improve the capacity of the Colombo Port. He said Phase V of the JCT includes an investment of USD 32 million and the construction company for the project is China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC).
“Upon the completion of construction, a new yard area of 40,000 square metres will also be added to the JCT. Considering the fact that Port of Colombo (POC) was ranked as the 15th connected port, we invite the world shipping lines to consider more transhipment at POC. The cargo that is brought to POC can be easily connected to the Indian ports, Africa, Bangladesh, Maldives and Far East. Such service may also provide a competitive price for them. CASA could be the voice of being the brand ambassador in promoting the Port of Colombo as a transhipment hub and thereby contribute to growth,” he said.
In terms of tourism and cruise shipping, SLPA launched the project to develop and promote heritage city Galle’s Port into a fully-fledged tourist port and leisure hub of South Asia with an investment of USD 175-200 million. “The four-year project is headed by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and will be developed as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The project includes two offshore breakwaters to maintain the sufficient calmness in the Galle bay and harbour. To facilitate large cruise ships, it has been proposed to construct a state-of-the-art cruise terminal as well. The aim is to convert Galle into a regional commercial port with additional emphasis on tourism. With new private sector investments, leisure-based commercial activities will also be developed. Additionally, the Port of Trincomalee is been developed focusing on the conventional cargo operations,” he added.
Speaking further, he also said “Apart from port infrastructure, we identify the need to develop our ancillary services to move forward in the concept of a hub. A successful hub port requires the full range of ancillary port and marine services at competitive prices in order to be attractive to mainline and feeder operators, casual callers, and attracting vessels specifically for services even without cargo operations.”