June 26, 2009 (LBO) – A contract to build a new container terminal in Sri Lanka’s Colombo port, despite delays, will be awarded before the year-end, and the facility will be assured of cargo given Indian growth, a senior official said. Sri Lanka Ports Authority chairman Priyath Bandu Wickrama said that although India had begun expanding her own ports, Colombo’s new port would still get enough cargo as only a small share of India’s trade was still containerized.
“India suddenly started developing her ports because we were slow in expanding Colombo or did not implement our plans in time,” Wickrama told the 28th Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka Freight Forwardersâ€™ Association Thursday.
“But history shows that on completion of any Colombo port expansion project, there’s a huge increase in volume.”
This was because containerization of Indian cargo was “still in its infancy” which makes the potential for growth vast, he said.
“In view of container volumes in future and since we’re close to Indian ports we have no doubt in attracting cargo volumes on completion of the project.”
Wickrama said the Colombo port expansion project would see the building of almost six kilometers of new breakwater.