New Port

May 21, 2007 (LBO) – Four investor groups have sent in bids to build the infrastructure and do the dredging for the Colombo Port Expansion Project, a new deep-water harbour next to Colombo. The new port will be designed to handle ships with a draft of 16 metres and as long as 400 metres. Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) officials said big international players were among those who submitted bids for the project.

The technical proposals are being evaluated first after which the financial bids will be opened, they said.

Some 30 parties collected documents to bid for the infrastructure work on the planned new Colombo South Port.

Contracts are expected to be awarded by end-July or August.

The Asian Development Bank has agreed to give a soft loan of 300 million dollars to the SLPA to help fund most of the infrastructure work with the balance being spent by the SLPA.

The SLPA has called for separate bids to build and operate the container terminals in the new South Port.

The container terminals are expected to be operated by the private sector with the SLPA playing the role of landlord and regulator.

SLPA officials said the Colombo Port Expansion Project woul