July 16, 2008 (LBO) – Colombo port plans to order more quay-side gantry cranes, mobile cranes and tractors to boost productivity and cope with increasing cargo flows, a senior official said. Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) chairman Saliya Wickramasuriya said the new equipment acquisition was part of the ports efforts to improve efficiency and the port’s ability to handle more cargo.
He said Colombo urgently needs to add more capacity to handle rising container volumes until the new deep-water port, next to the existing harbour, is built.
Construction work on the new port has already begun with dredging of the planned harbour basin and stock piling of rocks for the breakwater.
The Asian Development Bank is giving most of the funding for the infrastructure of the new port, with the SLPA putting in the balance.
The government is also to call for fresh tenders for the first container terminal to be built in the new port by the private sector. The previous tenders were cancelled earlier this year.
Wickramasuriya said the SLPA has ordered six quay-side container cranes and four mobile harbour cranes to load and unload containers from vessels.
It will also buy 30 tr