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More room for port related services, industries once completed:

Hambantota to ease Colombo Port congestion

The Colombo Port is in demand for container cargo and as such no space is available for port related industries and services. The country badly needed the development of the Hambantota port, Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman, Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama said.


Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama

He was speaking at the 10th IAPH Asia / Oceania Regional Meeting and Port Forum which was held in Indonesia.

“On completion of the final phase of Hambantota Port we will get a 13 km long quay wall length at the minimum depth of 18m with the overall capacity of 20m TEUs. Phase one construction work will be completed by end of 2010 and the construction cost is around US $ 500 million”, he said.

The Hambantota Port will come into operation early next year and under phase one, a number of services have been identified as business ventures. Bunkering, ship repair, ship building, crew changes are the key businesses here as Hambantota is located at the centre of east west shipping route and it is just six to ten nautical miles away from the shipping route, he said.

General cargo, port services, facilities for port related industries, ship repair and warehousing facilities are the other key ventures and proposals for these ventures that will be called within a months time.

The investors will be given sufficient time to put up their infrastructure and be ready to commence operations once the port is operational early 2011.

In order to ensure the smooth functioning of these ventures, container handling facilities will be provided even during phase one construction works.

More than 85 percent of the Hambantota Port Development Project is financed by the Chinese Government on a loan agreement signed between the two countries.

The construction work is done by a Chinese consortium. However the entire port belongs to the Government and all operations will be handled by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

Indonesia and several other countries including Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Australia, Malaysia and Japan also participated at the Forum held in Indonesia.

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