Port Industries

Sept 23, 2009 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) says foreign investors are vying to put up fertiliser and cement plants and ship yards in a new port in Hambantota on the south coast. Wickrama declined to identify the investors as talks were going on.

A request for proposals (RFP) inviting investments in the port, work on which is ahead of schedule, is expected to be out any time soon, SLPA chairman Priyath Bandu Wickrama said.

“We have many requests from foreign investors because of the land available in Hambantota and its geographical location,” he told LBO in an interview.

“So we’re confident we can get many investors to invest there. We’re about to release the RFP.”

The new port, being built by Chinese contractors, is close to the main East-West shipping route across the Indian Ocean and has several thousand acres available for manufacturing plants.

Wickrama said they want to attract investments in fertiliser and cement manufacturing and bagging, food processing, warehousing, and vehicle transhipment.

“Six investors confirmed plans to put up fertiliser and cement plants but we can give only for four because only so much land is available,” he said.