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DateLine Tuesday, 24 March 2009

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Government Gazette

Excavation and dredging in progress :

Hambantota Port to be ready ahead of schedule

Sixty-five percent of the work on two break-water alms (east and west) of the Hambantota Port has been completed and excavation and dredging is in progress for the channel across the Karagamlewaya.

A leader in the maritime sector

* The vision of the Government is to develop Sri Lanka as a competitive Maritime and Logistics Centre and to be a leader in the Maritime Sector in the region.

* The National Policy for Ports and Shipping envisions a development strategy with a timeframe up to 2020 to make Sri Lanka a Maritime and Logistic Centre in the region.

* The total cost for Phase one is USD 360 million.

* The project was launched in April 2008 and Phase one will be completed by 2010.

The proposed Hambantota port

The project can be completed before the estimated time in 2011, Chief Engineer Southern Port Development Janaka Kurukulasuriya told Daily News Business.

He said that the port will be developed initially to cater to the industrial and service sectors and later for container traffic.

As excavation is being done under dry conditions as a result of preventing water coming to the basin from outside much money and time had been saved and underwater excavation would have c ost much more, Kurukulasuriya said.

A new international port will be developed and containers too in the region will be handled at the Hambantota Port encouraging industries.

The port is designed for futuristic needs of deep draughts and wide yard areas so that when the Colombo Port is unable to expand facilities, the Hambantota Port will be ready to take over that demand and be ahead of competitors in the region, he said. Containers too will be handled for the region, he said.

Hambantota is a highly underutilized land and is in close proximity to international shipping routes.

At present more than 100 vessels bypass the Sri Lanka South-West coast daily with no value addition to the country’s economy, he said.

Therefore, the Hambantota Port will be developed to cater to twelve areas - Thermal power generation, oil refinery and petrochemical industry, coal fired power plant, bunkering services, coal transshipment and distribution, ship-building and repair activities, transshipment car activities, bonded export processing zone, bulk cargo and general cargo berths, fishing activities and export of fish products and container traffic.

Kurukulasuriya said that the first vessel could sail from the port by January 2011.


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