Port Project

Sept 16, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has awarded a contract to build and operate a new deep-water container terminal in Colombo port to a consortium consisting of China Merchant Holdings International and Aitken Spence, a statement said.

The new terminal will have a quay wall length of 1.2 kilometres with a minimum alongside water depth of minus 18 metres, Aitken Spence said.

Construction work on the breakwater and dredging of the new port, funded mainly by an Asian Development Bank loan, is underway.

The new deep-water port is needed to retain Colombo port’s status as south Asia’s transhipment hub.

Existing terminals are not deep enough to handle the deep-draft bigger vessels now being deployed on trade routes across the India Ocean.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority Priyath Wickrama said recently construction of the new 450 million US dollar container terminal is expected to start within six months of the award being made.

The Aitken Spence – China Merchants consortium was the sole bidder for the terminal concession but SLPA negotiated for months for higher royalties and upfront fees.

Wickrama has said the terminal would be built by the same Chinese contractor that is building a Chinese financed port in the