Sept 22, 2011 (LBO) – A Sino-Lanka consortium that is to build a container terminal in Colombo’s new deep-water South Port has signed a deal with Sri Lanka’s investment promotion agency entitling it for tax breaks. Building of the 500 million US dollar terminal by the consortium consisting of China Merchants Holdings, Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence conglomerate and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority will begin in January.
“The terminal will be assured of business as it would be the only deepwater terminal in the region that would be able to handle 10,000 TEU vessels,” Aitken Spence’s deputy chairman Rajan Brito told LBO.
Most major shipping lines have deployed or ordered container vessels capable of carrying 10,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent units or containers) that are too large for existing terminals in Colombo.
Brito said the consortium intends to “fast-track” the project that is already behind the original schedule and is urgently required as Colombo’s capacity is nearing saturation owing to rapid growth in container cargo traffic.
Colombo port now handles about 4.5 million TEUs annually.
The Board of Investment has granted ‘Strategic Development’ status to the project, entitling it to severa