Oct 22, 2010 (LBO) – A new port being built in Sri Lanka’s southern Hambantota has drawn investment proposals from local and foreign businesses including the local Senok Combine and Micro Car for vehicle assembly, officials said. The second phase will expand and deepen the harbour, adding more berths and cranes to handle containers. Madras Cements, India’s fifth largest cement maker and part of Chennai-based Ramco Group, has also proposed investing in a cement terminal at the port, a greenfield site to be operated as a free port with no taxes.
A Sri Lanka Ports Authority statement said that 27 local and foreign companies among 63 that collected the request for investment proposals have submitted bids.
“The response shows investors are keen to invest in the new port,” said Agil Hewageegana, SLPA chief engineer in charge of the port project in Hambantota known as Magampura Port.
He said some of the local firms that sent proposals are in joint ventures with foreign partners.
The new deep water harbour close to the main shipping route across the Indian Ocean, to function initially as an industrial port, was built by Chinese firms and largely funded by Chinese loans.
The SLPA received six investment proposals