Fast Berth

Dec 08, 2011 (LBO) – State-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is building a 125 million US dollar berth in an expanded harbor in Colombo to fill a capacity gap until a Sino-Lanka joint venture comes on stream in 2014, an official said. Colombo International Container Terminal a joint venture between China Merchant Holdings and Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence will begin construction of a new terminal which will take 24 months to complete.

SLPA chairman Priyath Bandu Wickrema said the agency is building a 400 meter berth on what will be the ‘East’ terminal of the expanded South Harbour in Colombo.

“Until 2014 an alternative arrangement is needed to cater to the demand we have at the moment,” Wickrema told reporters.

The 400 metre quay will cost 125 million US dollars and will be internally financed and supplemented by domestic bank borrowings, he said.

It will be the first berth of an ‘East’ terminal of the expanded harbor. Each terminal will have 1,200 quay length and three berths.

The China Lanka joint venture is the ‘South’ terminal. A new breakwater covering the expanded harbor also has provision to build a third ‘West’ terminal.

The existing port is nearing full capacity of 4.5 millio