Harbour Moves

Dec 24, (2008) – The Sri Lankan government is trying to expedite a long-delayed project to call for private investors to build a new terminal in Colombo port, a senior ministry of ports and aviation official said. Ministry secretary Thosapala Hewage the attorney-general, the chief government legal officer, recently gave his opinion on the request for proposals (RFP) for the new terminal project.

“We had been waiting for the AG’s advise on the RFP, which we have just received,” he said.

“The government too is concerned about the delay but we’ll definitely expedite it.”

A Cabinet-appointed negotiating committee will meet soon to complete preparations to call for proposals from private investors for the project, he said.

The call for bids was supposed to have been made last year, under the present project schedule.

But it has been delayed as the government sought legal advice to change the request for proposals to prevent a repeat of the fiasco which led the bids in the original round to be cancelled amidst much controversy.

The Port of Singapore Authority (PSA), in a bid with Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence group, and Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) of Hong Kong were the front-runners in the o